Published to announce a Warhol exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, April 2- April 27, 1966, Self-Portrait 16 is part of a number of self-portraits based of the same photograph done by Rudolph Burkhardt. In these self-portraits, Warhol, tried to minimize his human qualities while still maintaining the strong likeness, and it is still very recognizable as Warhol. This particular print is done with black ink printed on silver coated paper, with half of Warhol’s face almost entirely in black. The pose he is holding, with his hand resting on his chin, gives him a contemplative look, as if he is trying to figure out what his next work is going to be.
With Self-Portrait 16, Warhol was establishing himself as an iconic subject. Throughout his career, Andy Warhol’s image became more and more prolific and has become almost as famous as his work itself, which is uncommon for most artists. These images are both by his own making as well as by other photographers or artists. In the late-1970s and into the 1980s, his self-portraits became more and more pervasive, largely due to his interest in different types of cameras and printing methods.