Before meeting my D.C. collector, I spent some time at the beautiful downtown Nashville Public Library. So nice to see such a worthy place filled with inquisitive minds. To me, a library is one of the most worthy institutions to support. And as I did since I’ve started painting for real, I hit the art section. Among the seven books I checked out was a great, fun one called “Pre-Pop Warhol” by Jesse Kornbluth.
It’s a great book, even covered to suit Warhol in corrugated cardboard! But inside is a treasure trove of goodies from the pre-discovered Warhol when he was a commercial art machine. Literally! Unlike Van Gogh, whose “Diaries” I reflect upon here, whereas Vincent ernestly painted for the sake of painting, Warhol was all about the business of art.
From the time he entered the N.Y. advertising and publishing world, first with Harpers Bazaar then after only a short time, landing his longtime gig at Glamour. He took on far more work than he himself could complete but kept a stable of fellow artists busy at it, employing his initial sketches before working out simple, naive, irregular-lined stylings before he fine tuned the work to his satisfaction. Within a few short years in New York he went from sharing a cheap apartment with a college pal to a swish place uptown, supporting his mother and other family members along the way.
Andy had a knack for endearing people to him and outdid other artists and illustrators in New York in the traditional gift-giving area. Whereas most annual offerings that landed on the tables of magazine art and creative directors were bottles of booze and candies, Andy, after first catching everyones breath by presenting each with a custom-crafted gold rose from Tiffanies, In following years, he designed (and had coloring parties to add color to) hand-crafted books in quantities of 100-200 and presented them to his clients.
Some process information is included in this book but it is the pictures, more than anything else that will inspire. Great, enjoyable read and I’m tempted to buy one to keep on hand since I have to return this one to the library.