Then, at Christmas 1985, d’Offay had a lightbulb moment.
He was a good friend of German artist Joseph Beuys, the artist’s work the first d’Offay showed in the London gallery he opened in 1980.
In 1985, on Christmas Day, he was in Naples with Beuys.
“We all spent the morning singing carols in German and English and then Joseph and I went to visit an architect he knew. He was showing us around his house and in his bedroom he had this very large, red portrait of Joseph that Andy had taken,” says d’Offay.
“As soon as you walked into the room, this picture knocked you back against the wall and in that very second I thought: “You idiot, it’s so obvious. This is the greatest portrait painter of the second half of the 20th century and it’s a long time since there’s been a self-portrait”.
“Three days later in was in New York at the Factory saying to Andy ‘what about a self-portrait show’.”
Warhol told d’Offay to go back in three weeks, when the artist had a selection of Polaroids – including several of himself in drag, a number of which make up the Sheffield exhibition.
Face to Face with an Icon of Modern Art (Yorkshire Post)