Speedskater. Original silkscreen printed in colors, 1983. Edition of 150 signed and numbered impressions on Arches 88 paper.
Art and Sport portfolio: The Yugoslav Olympic Committee of the Winter Olympic Games Sarajevo 1984 wished to give a certain cultural-artistic accent to this world festivity. The admire of the Olympic idea, those who have a liking for the Olympic winter sports and the art connected with them will be, in agreement with the art publisher Visconti Art Lazo Vujić, honored by creations contributed by world known prominent artist. A portfolio containing sixteen original prints, handsigned and numbered by the artists, is published in a limited edition of 200 originals by each artist. Names like Dorazio, Folon, Greco, Helnwein, Hodgkin, Hwang, Kolar, Moore, Paladino, Pistoletto, Rosenquist, Santomaso, Stupica, Twombly and Warhol guarantee the high quality of the artistic idea and its realization. The size of the original print is 85 x 62 cm. The edition of the original graphic portfolio will be accompanied by limited editions of art posters of the same size, not numbered, but each of them carrying an impression of the inscription “Olympic Games Sarajevo 1984” and its logotype.
The themes proposed by the artists are either winter sports, the Olympic idea or the town of Sarajevo. All the artists remain faithful to their own specific expression, using the formal elements of the language developed through the years of their creative presence in world’s art. So every print included in the portfolio is at the same time a particular contribution to the continuity of their artistic orientation, the theme being an additional iconographic impulse to their visual research. The symbiosis of the Olympic idea and art is certainly an interesting creative proposal that will fascinate art-collectors and sport-lovers as well.
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Julia and Andrej Warhola, Russian immigrants from Slovakia. In 1945 he attended a commercial design course at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). After he graduated in 1949 he moved to New York and established himself as an advertisement illustrator for advertisements, at magazines such as Vogue and Glamour. While producing a series of illustrations for shoes, the printers accidentally left out the final A from his surname in the credits. He then officially changed his name to Andy Warhol in 1950. After a decade long career, he grew tired of commercial illustrations and asked gallery owner Muriel Latow for advice on how to continue his artistic career. She told him to paint what he liked most and things that everyone knows, like money and cans of soup. In the ’60s he was fascinated by a number of American celebrities: Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and others, depicting them with the silkscreen technique. The mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe, with whose tragic death the artist felt he could identify with, inspired him to produce a series of prints, to which he returned in later years. In the mid-’60s he devoted himself to more serious themes, depicting a series of car collisions and other accidents and deaths. In 1963 Warhol moved to his famous study, later known as The Factory, where he created most of his art – the Flower series, self-portraits, sculptures, his own film production… The Factory soon became a center for many “super” celebrities and artists, among others the Velvet Underground band and Nico, Bob Dylan, members of the Rolling Stones, etc. Andy Warhol has a place in the history of art as a versatile artist – a painter, sculptor, filmmaker, photographer, commercial illustrator, music producer, writer and even as a model. In 1996 the Andy Warhol museum was opened in his hometown of Pittsburgh. This is reputed to be the most complete American museum dedicated to a single artist. Feminist activist Valerie Solanas made an assassination attempt on Warhol on July 3rd, 1968 and seriously wounded him with a gunshot to the abdomen, which left him in extremely poor health for the rest of his life. He died after an operation of his gallbladder in 1987. Visconti Fine Art’s founders and directors Lazo and Ziva Vujic had the privilege of personally befriending Warhol, who collaborated with the gallery on the Art and Sport Edition and produced one of the 16 prints (“Speedskater”) for the 1984 winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
Lazo Vujić invited sixteen artists to produce a portfolio of artworks in honor of the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. Even though Vujić knew Warhol from earlier times, their first collaboration began ahead of the Olympic games. It was really important for the artists who is going to be in the team, so when Warhol heard that Henry Moore is one of them, he enthusiastically joined them and sent a portfolio. After Warhol’s print was completed, the “Speedskater” was made into the official poster for the Winter Olympics, which was seen all over Sarajevo and Yugoslavia. Warhol has never enjoyed the sport, but he loved athletes and was fascinated with their fame. “I really got to love the athletes because they are the really big stars.”, he said and he already created the “Athletes” series in the late 1970’s, which included big sport stars like Muhammad Ali, Pele, Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus and others. This print depicted, as the name said, a skater who represented the discipline of speed skating. A sense of depth of space was achieved by layering different colors on top of each other, and the shape line of the skater as the top layer, gave the appearance of a rapid motion. Warhol also made some unique variants as trial proofs, each printed with different positions of the color screens.