John Joseph H No. 11 is a signed screen print by the renowned Pop Artist Andy Warhol. Produced in 1967, the print shows a mugshot of John Joseph, a convicted robber, in black and white. At first glance, the good-looking man in his 20s could be mistaken for one of the celebrities that Warhol would party with in his New York studio, The Factory. When looked at closer, however, one can see a police ID slate pinned to the man’s jacket, hinting at his criminal behaviour.
The print is part of Warhol’s Most Wanted Men collection which the artist originally produced to be shown at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. For the collection, Warhol made a series of canvases that showed thirteen of the ‘most wanted’ men in America. The collection was highly controversial because the fair’s organisers felt that the images of armed robbers and murderers were out of place given the theme of the festival which was ‘Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe’.
The subject of this print and the others in the Most Wanted Men collection differ from many of Warhol’s other prints which depict famous celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Nevertheless, the collection continues to capture Warhol’s obsession with fame and icons and his fascination with the way people are portrayed in the media.