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May 20, 2023

Polaroid Snaps of Grace Jones in Furs Taken by Andy Warhol, 1984

“Now, it seems like you have to do lots of things really well, and you don’t get to stay famous for long unless you’re always switching. Grace Jones is an example of this,” wrote Andy Warhol. Indeed, Jones had been a runway model, singer, movie actress, and performance artist by the time she was thirty. She had also gained celebrity status for her individual style. Her six-foot height, striking features, dramatic makeup, and love of men's clothing created attention as well as confusion; was she a man in drag, a woman who had been a man, or the product of a plastic surgeon?

Vogue magazine commissioned Warhol to photograph Jones in July 1984. He waited three hours before an assistant discovered that Jones was at a department store retrieving one of her furs from storage. According to Warhol, who thought jewelry a much better investment, Jones spent “all her money on fur coats.” It is not surprising, then, that he portrayed her in one during this session.

“Grace spends all her money on fur coats. She says it’s all she cares about, that she doesn’t care about money, just furs. I told her it’s crazy, that you can’t resell them or anything, and that she should buy jewelry, but she just loves furs. It’s that insane. She buys them and stores them all in the cooler. I was taking pictures of Grace for Vogue, and we were interviewing her for the cover of Interview. But anyway, she was really late, and we were putting her down for hours and then suddenly she appeared and it was all, ‘Oh darling!’” said Andy Warhol.


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