The screen print Turtle by Andy Warhol was originally published to coincide with the 1985 Harold Pinter film Turtle Diary, a romantic comedy about sea turtles at the London zoo and the individuals who pursue to set them free from captivity. The print features an image of a sea turtle in bright blue and green hues, contoured with graphic red lines.
As with many other works in his oeuvre, Warhol uses a photograph to form the basis of this striking screen print and manipulates the original image with a bold, surreal colour palette. The use of saturated hues and graphic style immortalise with an intense commercial aesthetic that works to exemplify a 1980s Pop Art icon. Created as promotional material for the release of a film, this print exemplifies Warhol’s willingness to self-publicise and play into the mechanisms American popular culture.
Although Turtle does not form part of a series by Warhol, it is reminiscent of his famed Endangered Species series (1983) that was published just two years before. In the later stages of his career, Warhol was commissioned a number of times to create images that would raise awareness of endangered animals and environmental issues. This print works within a similar format, using a vivid colour palette to create an unmissable image of the animal kept in captivity.