Mick Jagger was painted while he was at the height of fame. Andy Warhol and Jagger first met in 1963, when the band the Rolling Stones were not well known in the United States. Warhol was spent a lot of time with Jagger and his wife Bianca, but was closest to their daughter, Jade, whom Andy remembers teaching to paint. Over the years the artistically inclined Jagger kept tabs on the musically inclined Warhol.
By the 1970s Warhol no longer relied on found imagery and had considerably expanded his range of subjects. He often took his own photographs and the ‘hand-made’ look became increasingly evident by additions of collage elements using torn cheap graphic Color Aid papers, which were produced in a seemingly endless array of colours. The series of ten screen prints of Mick Jagger were characteristic of this change in style and the artist used a selection of ten of his own photographs that he had taken of Jagger.
Warhol had designed the band’s provocative album cover Sticky Fingers with its focus on a man’s crotch and a zipper that opened. The album and the design proved to be a huge success and Warhol, ever keen to make money, lamented that he had not been paid enough given the millions of copies that sold. No doubt with an eye for financial success, Warhol turned to the subject of Mick Jagger, now a celebrity friend and part of the New York club scene.
Warhol’s Mick Jagger was published as part of a portfolio of 10 screen printed variations of the star. This interpretation is certainly the most striking due to both the dynamic use of areas of bold colors and the idealized contours of Jagger’s facial characteristics. Warhol’s focus on celebrities ensures the market for his work remains strong.