Place made
New York, New York, United States of America
synthetic polymer paint and screenprint on canvas
101.6 x 101.6 cm
Credit line
South Australian Government Grant 1996
Accession number
Signature and date
Signed and dated, blue paint, near edge of canvas reverse stretcher bot.c.: "Andy Warhol, '85".
Gift of the artist to Henry Gillespie, 1985. Acquired from Mr Gillespie in 1996.
Media category
Collection area
American paintings
© Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. ARS/Copyright Agency

    Lawyer Henry Gillespie was one of only two Australians to sit for a portrait by Warhol. In the early 1980s Gillespie was introduced to Warhol by a mutual friend at a party in New York; Warhol was fascinated by the fact that Gillespie came from ‘down under’. Gillespie became the Australian editor for Interview magazine and on one occasion after lunch at the Factory, Warhol asked him to sit for his portrait. Gillespie remembered:


    'well, it all happened very quickly ... A great adrenalin rush – very quick and professional, and Andy sort of stroked my ego, saying ‘chin up, chin down, look this way, look that way’ and he said I looked like Mel Gibson, because Mel Gibson was very big at that time but he flattered his sitters, so it was a real ego trip. But of course, that brought out the best in people ...'


    Ordinarily, Warhol painted his portraits in pairs, making his group of four of Gillespie unusual, especially for a non-commissioned work. A canny businessman, Warhol often paid his staff in artworks and Gillespie received one of these portraits as payment for his work on Interview, with the other three kept for future payments. Warhol wanted to visit Australia and one of Gillespie’s most important jobs for Warhol was securing commissions here to fund his trip. Sadly, Warhol’s premature death meant he was unable to fulfil this dream. Upon his death, the three remaining portraits of Gillespie were in Warhol’s studio and were eventually acquired by the National Gallery of Australia and in this exhibition are reunited here with AGSA’s painting.


    Wall label, Andy Warhol and Photography: A Social Media, 2023

  • Andy Warhol's Time Capsules

    National Gallery of Victoria, 16 March 2005 – 8 May 2005
  • Andy Warhol Portraits

    Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 21 November 1996 – 6 March 1994
  • Andy Warhol in Australia: Works from Private Collections

    Monash University Museum of Art, 21 June 1989 – 22 July 1989
  • A Celebration: Recent Acquisitions of Heritage and Contemporary Art

    Art Gallery of South Australia, 30 August 1996 – 22 September 1996
  • Andy Warhol and Photography: A Social Media

    Art Gallery of South Australia, 3 March 2023 – 14 May 2023
  • [Book] Radford, Ron. 1998. Treasures from the Art Gallery of South Australia.
  • [Book] Gates, Merryn. 1989. Andy Warhol in Australia : works from private collections.
  • [Book] Desmond, Michael & Lloyd, Michael. 1992. European and American paintings and sculpture 1870-1970 in the Australian National Gallery.
  • [Article] The Age.
  • [Journal] Good weekend magazine.