Andy Warhol is a dynamic artist whose subject matter range from everyday objects to world famous celebrities. Created in 1983, Andy Warhol’s Endangered Species silkscreen prints are some of the most important works of his oeuvre. These 10 screen prints were the result of a conversation about ecological issues between Warhol and art dealers Ronald and Frayda Feldman. Aside from their prominence in the art world, the Feldmans were long-time political and environmental activists. Since Warhol himself was also an animal lover, this commission gave rise to the ten colored silkscreen prints each featuring an endangered species at the time.
Each silkscreen print shares the vibrant coloring and iconic status associated with the portraits of Warhol celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Grace Kelly. Like he had done with the portraits of celebrities, the animals are colored vibrantly, a quality Warhol described as “animals in makeup.” Warhol thus honors the animals by placing them on a level of superstardom, reminding viewers of the importance these animals hold on a global level.
Since its conception, the portfolio has been exhibited all over the world, many prints gifted by Andy Warhol to charities concerned with preserving the natural environment.
Of the animals on this list, eight still remain on the endangered species list. The bald eagle was taken off the list in 2007 and the Pine Barrens tree frog was removed shortly after the creation of this portfolio due to erroneous information on the species.