After the Party Andy Warhol
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Andy Warhol’s After the Party series illustrates the aftermath of a raucous party seemingly inherent to the lifestyle of the time. Through the work’s haphazard and effortless composition of empty glasses, ash trays, cigarette butts and clutter, there is a key sense of disarray, a feeling of gluttony. This is in part due to the photographic quality of the work, the chaotic arrangement of the glasses and the vivid tints that outline the objects.
The Factory, Warhol’s famous studio, closed in 1987, so it was at the very height of the Factory’s lifetime in 1979, that Warhol printed and published his After the Party series.
When Warhol opened the Factory in 1964. It was a space where he created his most famous works and where celebrities flocked to, it soon became New York’s hottest and most exclusive party spot in town. The party guests were eccentric, provocative and, most of all, famous. Warhol admitted to using the social scene of the Factory as a space to study the life of celebrities and as he did to0 many, paint them. “I’ve always been fascinated by the assumptions that rich kids make,” Warhol said. “A lot of them think it’s normal, the way they live – because it’s all they’ve ever known. I love to watch their minds operate.”
The entire print run has the overall appearance of a series of exposure photographs. There has always been an inextricable link between Warhol, photography and his art. He referred to his Polaroid Big Shot camera as, his “pencil and paper”. The Polaroid prints served as subjects for Warhol's drawings, silkscreens and paintings and were often also used as preliminary inspiration.
The prints evoke ideas of gilded prosperity and excess of some apparent glamour, hiding something darker. Each print of After the Party has a unique colourful addition outlining the objects within the composition, making no two prints completely alike. This outline, which Warhol worked with his printer to produce, was there to highlight objects and break up the monochromatic black and white. Effectively, it seemingly alluding to the hazy effects of alcohol and drugs. Each colour in the series that form the outlines were created by a separate screen print a technically intricate process, varying each printed screen print and putting them highly in demand.
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