Vincente Minnelli by Andy Warhol is a strictly black and white portrait, devoid of the bright colors that characterize the majority of his work. Here, Warhol uses negative space to allow simple lines to form something as complex as a human figure. He manages to render Minnelli as a physical entity without the use of shading or shadows. The darkest ink tones are found in the eyebrows, which pulls the viewer’s eyes to Minnelli’s own, which gaze back at the viewer. This eye contact is found in the majority of Warhol’s portraits, and is essential in forging a connection with the viewer by allowing them to sense the subject’s personality. Warhol’s Vincente Minnelli is based off of a 1976 sketch that Warhol did of 73 year old Minnelli. This work was created by taking the existing sketch and printing it on canvas. Warhol purposely chose to leave any signs of Minnelli’s aging out of this portrait. He once stated in The Warhol Diaries that when doing portraits, he eliminates any imperfections, making the subject look their best, as he would hope someone would do for him, if he was in the same position.
Vicente Minnelli by Andy Warhol as Part of his Larger Body of Work
Andy Warhol’s Vincente Minnelli fits within the scope of work that Warhol produced of celebrity portraiture. This image stems from one of many sketches that Warhol produced ranging from magazine cover mockups to still lifes of animals and people. Andy Warhol produced many portraits of members of the Minnelli family including Vincente, but mainly of Judy Garland, Vincente’s wife for several years, and their daughter, Liza Minnelli. Warhol strongly admired Garland one referring to her as the “Greatest Actress.” He and Liza were very close friends as well. Warhol’s Vincente Minnelli could have been given to Liza as a gift, as he once gave her a collaged portrait of her and her mother. Unlike Warhol’s portraits of Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, Vincinte Minnelli is done in black ink on a white canvas in a sketchy style meant to quickly capture his subject’s likeness and personality, instead of large thick areas saturated with color and paint, which characterize the Pop Art style that he was known for.