Instead of observing flowers in nature, Andy Warhol found his botanical inspiration in a 1964 issue of Modern Photography.
He transformed a photograph of hibiscus blossoms into a technicolor series of silkscreens, each simply titled Flowers and debuted at the influential Leo Castelli Gallery later that same year. Silkscreens from that exhibition have since sold for over $2 million at auction.
While they evoke the Flower Power movement of the 1960s, Warhol’s Flowers have also been interpreted as a symbol of mourning, as the artist created these works just after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza 57 years ago yesterday.