Sex Parts (F. & S. II.174) is a signed screen print by the ‘Father of Pop Art’, Andy Warhol. The black and white print on HMP paper was created in 1978 and comes in an edition size of 30. The print shows an explicit image of a pair of buttocks and penis engaged in sexual activity. The close-up image preserves the anonymity of the models captured in this artwork and focuses attention instead on their genitalia.
Sex Parts (F. & S. II.174) is part of Warhol’s Sex Parts, a collection of prints which all depict graphic sexual activity. The collection was not Warhol’s first exploration of the nude male form. In an interview, Warhol’s friend and collaborator Vincent Fremont exclaimed that Warhol “always got people to take their clothes off” and produced a series of nudes in the 1950s. These early artworks, however, were never exhibited during Warhol’s lifetime as homosexuality was a criminal offence in the United States. Until 1962, all 50 states criminalised same-sex sexual activity, and Fremont explains that “you couldn’t show certain images” during that time and doing so could risk you getting arrested.
Due to the explicit sexual content of the images, many galleries were afraid of exhibiting the artworks. The Sex Parts collection was arguably more of a personal project for Warhol than a commercial endeavour.