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The Kiss (Bela Lugosi)

The Kiss (Bela Lugosi)

Andy Warhol (in 1963)

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  • karenb. asked

    Hello, did Warhol get permission to use the still of Bela Lugosi when he made his artwork? Thanks, KB

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Karen, thank you for your interesting question. Unfortunately we do not have information about the eventual copyright issues that Warhol had to deal with. If rights were an issue at the time, he probably cleared them. I could also imagine, however, that Warhol's work was embraced by the film company as it promoted an almost forgotten hero of the white screen. Kind regards, Els

  • frank arling asked

    What is the signifigance of this work comparing it to other works of Warhol?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Frank, we could write a whole book on this question! But here's a 'short' answer: In the 1960s Warhol began to make these kinds of silk-screen paintings, mimicking the commercial methods of mass production. Warhol’s adaptation of the silk-screen technique established his revolutionary contribution to both art history and contemporary art. Warhol favored a mass-produced, machine-like look over visibility of the artist’s hand. Warhol was also very interested in the cult of celebrity; the subjects he chose are often iconic images from the world of film (here we see the actor Bela Lugosi), music and art. Warhol’s silkscreen paintings reflect America’s obsession with celebrity and tragedy, in a world more and more defined by popular mass media. The museum's director Wim Beeren purchased 'The Kiss' in 1979 because he believed Warhol, 'represented par excellence the relationship between the media and art'. Best, Tanja van Oostrum


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More information

The museum's director Wim Beeren purchased 'The Kiss' in 1979 because he believed Warhol, 'represented par excellence the relationship between the media and art'. In the 1960s Warhol began to make silk screen paintings in which a single image was repeated several times. This scene from a vampire film is printed against a silver background, referring to the silver emulsion used in film and photographic negatives and the so called 'silver screen' of cinema.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title The Kiss (Bela Lugosi)
Material and technique Silkscreen on canvas
Object type
Print > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width Error: 536,5 is not a valid BCD value cm
Height Error: 207,5 is not a valid BCD value cm
Depth Error: 3,5 is not a valid BCD value cm
Artists Artist: Andy Warhol
Accession number 2984 (MK)
Credits Purchased 1979
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1979
Creation date in 1963
Entitled parties © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2018
Internal exhibitions De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
Lievelingen XL (2024)
Silkscreen print > Stencil screen printing technique > Printing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Geographical origin The United States of America > North America > America

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All about the artist

Andy Warhol

Pittsburgh 1928 - New York 1987

Warhol was trained as a graphic designer at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. In 1949 he settled in New York where he worked as an advertising...

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