Andy Warhol
Joseph Beuys [Camouflage], 1986

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Joseph Beuys [Camouflage]
Artist name
Andy Warhol
Date created
acrylic paint and silkscreen ink on linen
110 3/4 in. × 84 5/8 in. (281.31 cm × 214.95 cm)
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

Who is depicted in this portrait?

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 SFX: Nature show theme music. The rustle and snap of underbrush.  



Good evening, and welcome to Expedition Into Art.Tonight we’re looking at: Camouflage. That fine layer of illusion that sometimes separates nature from artifice. Observer from object. Were in Warhol Country here, folks. 


SFX: A polaroid goes off. The scuttling in the brush stops, the subject frozen in his tracks. 


Ooh, Andys captured a big one for us this time! Yes! Its artist Joseph Beuys, respected both for his work, and for carefully constructing his own image, an image of a soldier turned sculptor that is equal parts fact and myth.  


Beuys knows hes trapped, in this moment — gazing at us like a feral creature, though the brush. (Making a pre-scripted joke) Heh. Or should we say, the brush-stroke? 


SFX: The wind stirs the leaves. 


Perhaps he feels protected by this heavy smokescreen of pattern and color. He can recede and disappear behind it. Soulful, plaintive eyes — but is he looking at us, or asking us to look at him? Wily creatures, artists.  


SFX: Footsteps retreat through the grass  


Please remember, folks, portraits can be tricky… and it looks like tonights subject is no exception. So ask yourselves: does portraiture reveal or hide the true self? And who is most exposed: the subject, the artist — or you, the viewer? Good night. 


SFX: Nature show stinger.

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