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Tuesday
Sep252018

Warhol’s Captivating Sense of Fun

Looking at Cecil Beaton’s illustrations immediately put me in mind of Andy Warhol’s own illustrations, which I have always preferred to his fine art output. In the 1950s and before he became his own brand, Warhol worked in the advertising industry as a very successful artist. He even won several Art Directors Club awards.

Warhol moved to New York in 1949 after studying commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. And for the next ten years he worked on Madison Avenue, illustrating fashion, in particular shoe advertisements for I. Miller and other advertising clients; LP covers; and several books, such as 25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy, Love Is A Pink Cake, and Wild Raspberries.

He returned to drawing in the 1970s, continuing to his death in 1987, but probably his most famous are the shoe drawings, which were published on Sundays in the New York Times, with captions written by his mother. (I must say I much prefer Warhol’s shoe illustrations to the work of another famous shoe illustrator, that of Manolo Blahnik.)

There is a lovely, light unselfconsciousness in Warhol’s drawings; in the imprecise linework that charms; in the whimsical creatures that inhabit the drawings – unicorns, yapping lapdogs and well-to-do pussycats wearing pearls. The sense of fun is captivating.

Images found on Pinterest.

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