The pop artist Andy Warhol made a series of screenprints in 1965 which he called Myths. They were intended as ironic and satirical commentaries on popular culture, particularly the myths surrounding Hollywood movies and their stars.

'Mammy', number 262 of the ten prints that make up this series, is based on a photograph by Richard Avedon, one of America's most celebrated fashion and portrait photographers, who was famous for using a large camera with a long lens that captured models in stately poses. This image of the black model is dominated by her incredibly round face, made even more so by the shape of the eyes and mouth. 

Andy Warhol made his screenprint from two copies of Avedon's photograph - the main figure (the mammy), taken from the right-hand version, and an inset of the baby, taken from the left-hand version.

The mammy figure is a close-up in black and white and shows a black female model, standing with her back to us, cradling a tiny white infant in her arms. She wears an ankle-length nightdress decorated with large pink flowers; its frilly cuffs are raised to her elbows and its ribbon-trimmed neckline is slightly unbuttoned, revealing the nape of her neck. The model's hair is tied into a neat bun on top of her head, but curls hang around her face. She stands in an elaborate white wicker baby basket decorated with pink ribbons, on which presses a large overblown pink flower. The basket is piled high with pink-and-white striped blankets, pillows and bed linen.

Hollywood has an ambivalent attitude to black people: they are both loved for their warmth and humour and reviled for the perils of living in America's melting pot.

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