Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Mirja Sachs
  • Andy Warhol
    born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States ; died: New York, New York, United States ; active: United States
  • Mirja Sachs, 1984
  • Where object was made: United States
  • Polaroid™ print (Polacolor ER)
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 9.5 x 7.3 cm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 3 3/4 x 2 7/8 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.6 cm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 4 1/4 x 3 3/8 in
  • Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
  • Not on display
  • 2008.0095
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
“Big Shots: Andy Warhol, Celebrity Culture and the 1980s,” Aug-2009, Susan Earle
Mirja Sachs is a former celebrity model and is married to German author and photographer
Gunther Sachs. She is also a philanthropist and runs the Mirja Sachs Foundation. In this
extended series of eleven Polaroids, Warhol’s working process is made visible. Warhol shoots her portrait bare-shouldered, as he did for virtually all of his female sitters, starting out with her normal skin color, and then applying a thick white makeup everywhere to minimize skin variations and compensate for the strong flash effect on the Big Shot camera. The elaborate application of makeup was part of Warhol’s highly ritualized method. This approach helped emphasize the woman’s beauty and stature, and it created the neutral sort of look that Warhol sought in his photographs and in the photo-silkscreen paintings that often resulted from the Polaroid sessions.