ANDY WARHOL "MR. BUTTERFLY" DRAWING, 1955
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is arguably the most important American artist of the 20th century. He not only defined Pop Art, but had unrivalled influence on artists and image-making.
In recent years there has been new scholarship and increasing commercial interest in Andy Warhol early works, material created prior to Pop Art.
During the 1950's Warhol became established in New York City as a trendy illustrator contributing to a wide number of fashion publications and retailers. His simple line drawings were modern and gentle, with a subtle but unmistakably gay touch. In a short period of time he created an aesthetic that was both versatile but distinctively his.
Like the consummate artist that he was, Warhol was constantly drawing. The fashion illustrations in a sense paid the bills, but he was most interested in male portraiture and erotica. Such images were romantic and hopeful and unabashedly gay. Not surprisingly there was little commercial interest in such material - even in cosmopolitan New York City.
Taschen, the legendary art book publisher, recently released the book Andy Warhol: Love, Sex and Desire 1950-1962 which celebrates his drawings of the male form - and has encouraged a new generation of collectors and curators to re-examine this material.
This drawing, evocative of the book, is a paradigm of Warhol's sensual whimsy and his mastery of line. What at first glance appears to be a decorative form, on closer inspection is actually a stylized depiction of male genitals adorned with butterflies.
With the lightest touch, Warhol masterly portrays the male sex, adorned with butterflies - one of his signature motifs from the 1950's. Another reminder that Warhol both an exceptional draftsman and a gay pioneer in the visual arts.
As the Warhol market continues to gallop to a stratosphere beyond, there are fewer and fewer examples of unique, original works in circulation.
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Untitled "Mr. Butterfly"
USA, circa 1955
Black ballpoint pen on manila paper
Very good condition.
Stamped on verso by the estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, Inc. and numbered on the reverse "TOP213.007"
Provenance: The Estate of Andy Warhol
Note: This is a unique, original drawing by Andy Warhol. It will also be included in the future Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné that is currently being compiled by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Additional images coming soon
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