About the artist
Richard Hamilton (b. 1922, d. 2011) was an English painter and collage artist. His 1955 exhibition Man, Machine and Motion (Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne) and his 1956 collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, produced for the This Is Tomorrow exhibition of the Independent Group in London, are considered by critics and historians to be among the earliest works of pop art. A major retrospective of his work was at Tate Modern until May 2014.
Hamilton began his series Polaroid Portraits in 1968. These small, limited-edition volumes contain one unique Polaroid self-portrait as a frontispiece followed by reproductions of thirty-two Polaroids of Hamilton by his artist friends. The photographers, including John Lennon, Merce Cunningham, Francis Bacon, and Andy Warhol, composed their shots as they wished. Roy Lichtenstein captured Hamilton in front of one of his own Pop paintings, Jasper Johns photographed him on a windy beach, and the British performance artists Gilbert and George posed on either side of Hamilton in their portrayal.