This painting belongs to a series modeled on the famous "inkblot" test invented by the Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. Whereas the actual test provides ten standardized blots for a patient to decipher, Warhol invented his own, achieved by painting one side of a canvas and then folding it vertically to imprint the other half. Ironically, Warhol originally misinterpreted the clinical process, believing that patients created the inkblots and doctors interpreted them: “I thought that when you went to places like hospitals, they tell you to draw and make the Rorschach Tests. I wish I’d known there was a set.” Because of this misunderstanding, Warhol’s Rorschach series is one of the few in which the artist does not rely on preexisting images.
Gallery label from 2013.