The present work is related to a series of black and white paintings that Warhol executed as a revision of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper between the spring of 1985 and the spring of 1986. The Christ figure depicted is based not on the famous Renaissance fresco but rather it is derived from a miniature Christ figure from a household altar that Warhol had painted and embellished with flowers and candles as a child. The actual making of the present work was conceived from a secondary source, however. Warhol took photographs of the figurine which then he enlarged on his projector and traced on canvas. The result is a monumental image of Christ, a religious icon worthy of adoration. What makes Christ, $9.98 a complex picture is the inclusion of a price tag, "$9.98" next to Christ; a strategy that generates numerous subtexts. The most compelling one is that Warhol managed to succeed in reducing the figure of Christ as an object, a devotional figurine for sale. This strategy of copying a copy allows the present work to resemble his black and white ads from the 1960s, where Warhol took banal advertisements and re-contextualized them into works of art. His brilliance in collapsing kitschy items from popular culture and high art is clearly evident in the present work.
Corinna Thierolf comments on Warhol's fascination with the Christ figure and his repetition of this image. "It is also possible to see the omnipresence of Christ represented in Warhol's recurring Last Supper or Jesus images-an abundance and sense of presence that is intensified in the viewer's eyes for the very reason that Warhol dispenses entirely with symbolic forms that can be 'easily' decoded (the meanings of numbers, the triptych, etc.,) and instead allows the size of his pictures to unfold an immediate physical effect. The protective space compromised by sanctuaries, in which religious art has traditionally been housed even in our century has permeated the monumental pictures themselves. Their size affords them their only protection" (C. Thierolf, "All the Catholic Things," in Andy Warhol, The Last Supper, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1998, p. 44).