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Super Star Fucker - Andy Warhol Text Painting

Peter Davies, 2002

WAG 2002.39

About this object

This painting won first prize in the John Moores Exhibition of Contemporary Painting 22 (now the John Moores Painting Prize) in 2002. In his statement accompanying the work, Davies said:

"For some years I have been making text paintings alongside abstract paintings. Both types feed off and inform one another. The text paintings offer a playful and humorous take on my attempts to understand art history and contemporary art. In contrast to how text has often been used in contemporary art, most notably with conceptualism, I want my paintings to be visually seductive and enjoyable to look at, and whilst being serious, to convey a sense of fun and mischief. I have made text paintings on various themes, such as 'A to Zs' and 'Top 100s' of my favourite artists in different categories.

This painting was inspired by seeing the recent large Warhol show in Berlin and is one of a series where I have taken one key figure as a starting point and made a painting which resembles a flow chart or mind map. I am interested in the formal, visual result which comes from this way of organising information as a painting, and how by having words which make reference to the history of art can heighten the 'content' of a painting. I want to make paintings that combine the sensuality and beauty of formalism with the humour and toughness of conceptualism."

Davies’ painting draws on the example of gallery director and art historian Alfred Barr (1902 – 1981) and his iconic poster ‘Cubism and Abstract Art’ (1936), which sought to make visible the relationships that existed between the 20th centuries various art movements. Taking Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) as his starting point, Davies explores in his painting the connections between the influential pop artist and a range of people, places and terms associated with high and low culture. Davies’ painting draws attention to the way that Warhol helped relocate gay and drag culture from the margins of society and in to the mainstream. Among the throng of ‘super stars’ are the terms ‘Advertising’, ‘American Dream’, and ‘Nightclubs’ as well as ‘Cross-dressing’, ‘Gay’ and ‘Camp’.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Peter Davies (British: Scottish, born:1970, died:unknown)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Acrylic paint; Canvas
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 254 cm x 213 cm
  • Physical description
    A painting of many multi-coloured stars displaying words that relate to the history of art. The largest star, which is green,contains the name 'Andy Warhol'.
  • Related people
    Peter Davies (Artist/maker, previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 11605
  • Credit line
    Acquired through the First Prize (Purchase Prize) from the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 22 in 2002
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 15
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Peter Davies

    Owned from: 2002
    How acquired: Artist
    Owned until: 2002
    Disposal method: Given to the Walker Art Gallery under the First Prize (Purchase Prize) for John Moores 22
Object view = Fine Art
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