A boy's story
Warhol's canon is enriched with a rare and intimate supplement
Conceived before Andy Warhol climbed the Olympus of pop art, Early Drawings of Love, Sex, and Desire was an exhibition presented in 1956 at the Bodley Gallery on New York's Upper East Side. The drawings, made mostly in ink on paper, depicted very young men, some of them naked and sometimes decorated with extravagant black hearts. The models rest listlessly or strut, vain or bothered by their own beauty, while the artist portrays them, enraptured. They rarely make eye contact with their scrupulous observer, who in turn focuses on their erotic shapes and characteristics. If the subjects are happy to welcome their attractiveness, the artist does the same.
Warhol was already a promising commercial illustrator when he made these studies, with the intention of publishing them as a monograph. He never made this project, but he did produce over a thousand of these elegant life drawings, which appear to have been made without any effort. This volume finally fulfills the artist's desire by bringing together about two hundred of the most significant images, published here for the first time and selected in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The style of the drawings recalls sketches by Jean Cocteau and Matisse: few precise yet soft strokes. The languid voyeurism, on the other hand, is all the work of Warhol's sack, and even the most daring of drawings is peppered with that funny touch of humor - a sort of ironic detachment - that would become one of the artist's trademarks. >
"Throughout the 1950s, Warhol was one of the handful of artists who centered their work on questions of homosexual identity."
Michael Dayton Hermann earned his Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College, where he studied art theory with conceptual artist Robert Morris. Multidisciplinary artist, since 2005 Hermann has also been director of Licensing at the Andy Warhol Foundation, developing high profile projects with Calvin Klein, Dior, Comme des Garçons, Supreme, Absolut and Perrier. He collaborated closely with TASCHEN for the production of two publications he himself conceived: Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958–1987 and Andy Warhol: Seven Illustrated Books 1952–1959.
With contributions by:
Drew Zeiba is associate editor of PIN – UP and regularly collaborates with The Architect's Newspaper. Publish online and in print publications such as Artforum, Garage, Vulture, Out, Elephant, Flaunt and Sign Unseen, among others.
Blake Gopnik was critical of art head of the Washington Post between 2000 and 2010, as well as regularly collaborating with the New York Times and the Daily Beast . He has a PhD from the University of Oxford and is the author of a definitive biography of the artist Warhol, which will see prints in 2020. p>
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