Executed only months before his premature and unexpected death, Andy Warhol's last series of Self-Portraits are among the most iconic works of his career. It has been said that Warhol was his own favorite subject, and he chronicled his own image over the years in numerous portraits culminating in his 'Fright Wig' series. In the present work, Warhol's full-frontal doubly exposed visage stares intensely at the viewer piercing the surrounding darkness of the canvas from behind an immediately recognizable shock of hair. Although he disliked his own appearance, self-portraiture satisfied Warhol's desire for public exposure and as he claimed, served to "remind myself that I'm still around" (A. Warhol, quoted in The Life and Death of Andy Warhol, 1989, p. 480). His life-long preoccupation with public image and beauty stemmed from his frustration with his own physical appearance, and by the late 1980s his self-image was almost completely artificial. His nose had been altered and his face had been tautened with astringents and repeated collagen injections. Most notable of all was the trademark peroxide hair, provided by his collection of "fright wigs." It was London-based dealer Anthony d'Offay, who prompted Warhol to think about doing a new series of Self-Portraits in the winter of 1985-1986. "At Christmas," d'Offay recalled, "we visited a collector friend of Lucio Amelio who had a powerful red portrait of Beuys by Andy Warhol hanging in his house. As I looked at the painting I realised two things: first that Warhol was without question the greatest portrait painter of the 20th Century, and secondly that it was many years since he had made an iconic self-portrait. A week later, I visited Warhol in New York and suggested to him an exhibition of new self-portraits. A month later he had a series of images to show me in all of which he was wearing the now famous 'fright wig.' One of the images had not only a demonic aspect but reminded me more of a death mask. I felt it was tempting fate to choose this image, so we settled instead on a self-portrait with a hypnotic intensity. We agreed on the number of paintings and that some would have camouflage. When I returned to New York some weeks later the paintings were complete. The only problem was that Warhol had painted the demonic 'Hammer House of Horror' image rather than the one we had chosen. I remonstrated with him and reminded him of our agreement. Without demur he made all the pictures again but with the image we had first selected. And so between us we brought two great series of self-portraits into the world" (A. d'Offay, quoted in Andy Warhol: Self-Portraits, exh. cat., Kunstverein St. Gallen Kunstmuseum, 2004, p.127).