Looking at Andy Warhol’s Polaroids of O.J., Kareem, and Other Famous People

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11/24/2009 1:54 PM |

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The Moment blog of the Times‘s T Magazine recently posted a slideshow, taken from a show now hanging at Danziger Projects, of Andy Warhol’s Polaroid photos of famous athletes. (Pele! Gretzky! Vitas Gerulaitis!)

These were for-hire shots, mostly: Warhol’s fascination with fame and American public life extended only sporadically into the realm of sports. Still, these shots are the way that all Warhol’s portraits are: an opportunity to match a face, composed or unguarded but definitely held in place for our contemplation, to a public persona. The screen tests remain unparalleled studies in the fascination of the known or unknown human face, but these washed-out Polaroids aren’t shabby either.