Torso (Double) is a screenprint by Andy Warhol from 1982 that stands as a daring exploration of the male body. This remarkable screenprint is part of the Torso series, one of two groundbreaking projects initiated by Warhol in the late 1970s, the other being the Sex Parts series. While the Torso works focused on classical nude aesthetics and were intended for museum exhibitions, the Sex Parts prints were more audacious, blurring the line between art and pornography. Both originated from a collection of erotic polaroids taken by Warhol. When Warhol’s former assistant, Bob Colacello, inquired about how to address questions regarding the explicit images in Warhol’s office, Warhol playfully replied, “Just tell them it’s art, Bob. They’re landscapes.”
In the 1970s and 1980s, societal norms around sexuality were undergoing significant shifts. The LGBTQ+ movement was gaining momentum, and artists like Warhol were at the forefront, challenging traditional views and pushing boundaries. While some critics dismissed the Torso and Sex Parts series as commercial exploitation, others recognized the profound statements Warhol was making about identity, sexuality, and societal perceptions.
Torso (Double) features two identical male torsos, positioned side by side, adorned with matching color blocking patterns. Warhol’s daring exploration of sexuality and his identity as a gay man are woven into the composition, adding profound meaning to the artwork. The vibrant screenprint juxtaposes realism with abstract elements, showcasing hand-drawn lines and blocks of color, transforming the area of the male body into a captivating “landscape” of eroticism.
Warhol’s journey of self-acceptance as a gay man is intricately connected to the Torso works, making it not only daring but also deeply personal. These artworks continue to captivate collectors, offering a thought-provoking and daring exploration of sexuality. Their historical significance lies in their challenge to societal norms, and they hold immense value for art enthusiasts due to their radical nature and connection to Warhol’s personal evolution.
The Torso artworks, including Torso (Double), remain an important part of Warhol’s artistic legacy. These screenprints exemplify his fearless approach to art, pushing the boundaries and provoking thought about sexuality and identity. Torso (Double) stands as a testament to Warhol’s enduring impact on the art world and his willingness to embrace and celebrate his identity through his creations. As collectors continue to be drawn to these works, their historical and artistic significance only grows, crystallizing Warhol’s status as an iconic and influential artist.