Andy Warhol - Tattoo Woman holding a Rose

Created on thin tissue paper, “Tattoo Lady with Rose” served as Andy Warhol’s “calling card” in the mid 1950’s.  The folds in the work are natural – Warhol mailed these calling cards to clients and advertising agencies alike. The inscription on the woman’s skirt references Warhol’s phone number when he lived at 242 Lexington Avenue.

More than forty tattoos cover the woman’s body, including: (Right Arm:) Schwepps, GE, Kelloggs, Beechcraft, Charles of the Ritz, Lucky Strike, Colgate; (Left Arm:) Bigelow, Pepsodent, Hunts Catsup, Wheaties, Texaco, CBS, Mobil Gas; (Right Leg:) Miss Clairol, Ford, Fruit of the Loom, Goodyear, Piper Heidsiec, Rinso, Monsanto, Plymouth, Colgate; (Left Leg:) Armstrong Tires, Dupont, Diorissimo, Shalimar, Dow, Cannon, Braemar, Chase & Sanborn, Chanel No. 5; (Chest:) Genuine Ford Parts, Italian Line, Greyhound, Briggs Pipe Mixture.

The tattoos in this image embody Warhol’s use of themes from popular culture to highlight America’s emphasis on capitalism, industry, and the media. Some of the logos chosen are iconic in their own right, as they would be featured prominently years later in Warhol’s Ads portfolio.