Typically associated with images taken from consumer culture and celebrities, Warhol explores biblical mythology (albeit of a superficial pop culture variety) in The Mark of the Beast, a set of two silk-screened black and white positive and reversal canvases. According to the Book of Revelations, 666 was the hidden mark on the anti-Christ, a false leader destined to rise to power shortly before the end of the world. Warhol was raised catholic and a habitual churchgoer; through choosing to paint these canvases he may have been referencing his own religious past and spiritual anxieties.
In earlier works, Warhol reminds us that the electric chair and various gruesome means will destroy the body and send the living to death. In this set of late paintings made near the end of his life he reminds us that torture of everlasting pain awaits those who in life choose a wicked path. Warhol playfully references the Christian myth of Armageddon in the kitsch manner of Jesus figurines and religious trinkets.