Widely known for pop imagery such as celebrities and Campbell’s soup cans, Andy Warhol deeply understood the role of the printed image in modern life. The Electric Chair prints repeat a 1953 press photograph of “Old Sparky” at New York’s Sing Sing prison, the site of several high-profile executions. This series is part of what is known as Warhol’s Death and Disaster series, which focused on duplicated images of gruesome events such as car crashes and suicides. The works speak to the media’s constant reiteration of violent and tragic images, and the possibility of desensitization—as Warhol explained, “when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn’t really have an effect.” Paradoxically, the repetition of such an image can make it even more haunting or disturbing.
Signed on verso in pen LL: "Andy Warhol 71"