Encouraged to produce a series of screen prints of drag queens by the art dealer Luciano Anselmino, Warhol invited a number of transvestites to his studio to be photographed. Under Warhol's instruction, Bob Colacello recruited a number of willing black and Hispanic participants from the night club The Gilded Grape in Greenwich Village.
Warhol considered drag queens to be the ultimate expression of the movie star presence he sought to capture. These individuals drew heavily on the Hollywood idols before them and dedicated their lives to the performance of their self-fashioned personas, becoming manufactured cultural icons in their own right. Warhol was also drawn to the artifice and gender role play associated with drag. Considering the place of gender in self-image Warhol remarked: 'I wonder whether it's harder for 1) a man to be a man, 2) a man to be a woman, 3) a woman to be a woman, or 4) a woman to be a man. I don't really know the answer, but from watching all the different types, I know that people who think they're working the hardest are the men who are trying to be a woman. They do double-time. They do all the things: they think about shaving and not shaving, of primping and not primping, of buying men's clothes and women's clothes. I guess it's interesting to try to be another sex.' (Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), New York, 1975, p. 98).
Warhol would later experiment with drag himself with Christopher Makos in 1981.