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Warhol’s screen test

"Dolly Parton," by Andy Warhol, as exhibited at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (PHOTO: BILL HUGHES)
"Dolly Parton," by Andy Warhol, as exhibited at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (PHOTO: BILL HUGHES)

Using his Polaroid “Big Shot” camera, Andy Warhol took photographs of everything from bananas to such celebrities as Dolly Parton, Mick Jagger, Joan Collins and so many more. Among the works on display at the newly opened exhibit Warhol Out West, at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, is a small selection of these intriguing Polaroid works. The small square snapshots are characterized by harsh white light, unflattering yet captivating — and just the right combination for Warhol’s silkscreen painting process. He excerpted details from the Polaroids — often just the face — followed by enlarging, reprinting and transferring onto the silkscreen surface, resulting in a black-and-white image with reduced detail and ramped-up highlights. After that, all that was left for Warhol was adding color, inking and painting in those luscious lips and bold eye-shadows.