Andy Warhol. Drella and the Empress of Iran

Andy Warhol. Drella and the Empress of Iran

With great depth of knowledge and detail, David Galloway chronicles »pop-paparazzi« Andy Warhol’s meeting with the Empress of Iran, Farah Diba-Pahlavi, as a result of which the Shah commissioned the now iconic paintings of his wife by Andy Warhol. The basis for this were Polaroids that Warhol took during a photoshoot. The paintings themselves were created afterwards in his New York studio. In memory of their collaboration, Farah Diba-Pahlavi signed one of the Polaroid pictures dated July 9, 1976. The small booklet shows this signed Polaroid as well as another, a portrait of Andy Warhol and, with the wonderful language of the former founding Curator of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, transports us to a special and defining time in the life and work of Andy Warhol.

»Warhol first met the Shah and his wife, Shahbanou Farah Diba Pahlavi, at a White House dinner hosted by President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty on May 15, 1975. In this first, brief encounter, Warhol and Farah Diba felt an instant empathy. She, after all, had studied architecture in Paris and was collecting works for a museum of Western and Iranian art that would open in Tehran in 1978. He, in turn, was enthralled by the beauty and charm of a »real« queen. And not merely a queen but an empress ‒b the first in the history of Iran. Nonetheless, feeling awkward in white tie and tails, Warhol hugged the shadows during the after-dinner dancing. »He kept moving from room to room,« Farah Diba recalls, »and I kept trying to catch up with him. Only later did I find out he was afraid I might ask to dance, but I really only wanted to talk to him.«« David Galloway



Artist: Andy Warhol
Editor: Ute Eggeling, Michael Beck
Text: David Galloway
Design: Beck & Eggeling (Martina Löhle)


English, German
Softcover, 14 x 14 cm
40 pages, 3 illustrations


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© Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art
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© Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art
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© Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art

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