The Mick Jagger portfolio exemplifies Warhol’s obsession with celebrity, stardom, and popular culture. Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the British rock and roll band The Rolling Stones, embodied the wealth, drugs, sex and fame of the music industry. Fascinated with Mick Jagger’s glamorous lifestyle and presence in the club scene, Warhol created this series, transforming the international celebrity into a 1970s pop icon. The two artists initially met at the beginning of their careers on The Rolling Stones’ first USA tour in 1963. Their relationship continued and Warhol produced The Rolling Stones’ 1971 album cover Sticky Fingers. In 1975, Warhol photographed Jagger for the Mick Jagger series while he and his wife were at Warhol’s house in Long Island, NY. The Pop artist and ‘bad boy’ musician’s preoccupation with fame and publicity inspired them to both sign the final prints as a marketing ploy to increase exposure.
Mick Jagger marks a shift in Warhol’s artistic style. Rather than relying on mass media imagery as source material, Warhol photographed Jagger himself as the pop culture star posed bare-chested. Each of the portfolio’s ten screenprints captures a different emotion, whereas Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Mao sets are comprised of ten identical portraits silkscreened in varying colors. Warhol overlaid torn pieces of color paper over Mick Jagger’s photographs. The color bits were placed to emphasize facial features and expression; light blue eyebrows, red lips, black and navy shadows. In addition to collaged color blocks, Warhol included expressive hand-drawn stylized lines, elements of artistic freedom that are absent in earlier celebrity portfolios. Mick Jagger series is characteristic of Warhol’s awareness of the 1970s shift towards non-representational art.
Mick Jagger, 1975, is a portfolio of ten screenprints on Arches Aquarelle (Rough) paper, 43 1/2” x 29” each. The set is an edition of 250, 50 AP and 3 PP, signed in pencil lower right and numbered in pencil lower left; some signed in felt pen. Most of the prints are also signed in black, green, or red felt pen by Mick Jagger. The series was published through Seabird Editions, London, England. Printer: Alexander Heinrici, New York.