Mark of the Beast, Negative, Andy Warhol

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Formal Analysis: Chelsea Gallery Walk

As I walked into the Taglialatella galleries in Chelsea, New York, Andy Warhol’s The mark of the beast (negative) caught my attention right away. Warhol portrays a hand with three numbers on it “666” that is ink printed on silkscreen, he uses this symbol to comments on religion and the influential nature of a high power. The black background sets the mood for the work as this reminded me of darkness and a prison scene. The image is very simplistic; The simple black and white colours convey a fearful tone and creates a very negative atmosphere. This work is twenty inches by sixteen inches, which is fairly large, this creates an illusion of the work having a powerful feature that overpowers the people looking at it, hence further emphasizing the influential nature of the piece. It has a rough edged border, an outline of a hand, and the words “Mark of the Beast” inscribed on it. The simplicity highlights the hand and the words, emphasizing their relationship with one another. The hand appears to be hovering over the words, as if they are reaching out to grab them, suggesting that the hand itself is “the beast”. The numbers “666” suggest a presence of the “devil” or “satan”, which is likely to be the “Beast” Warhol is referring to. The word “Beast” is larger in proportion to the rest of the words, which underlines its importance. It is also written in an jagged manner, which alludes to the unruly and hellish nature of the piece. I also think that the “Mark” of this beast could be the word “Beast” itself, the hand above it, or the numbers “666”. All three of these are significant parts of the the piece, as they are all emphasized in some way.

Another factor of this piece is its underlying message, and, what exactly that is. Could it be that the hand, which appears to be that of a man in a suit, is the beast? Suggesting that average men,or even humanity in general, are the beast itself? There is a religious factor which...
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