In 2013 Daniel Brant of A&D Gallery in London curated, This is not me, Andy Warhol, an exhibition of appropriations, unauthorised editions & fakes. As a tribute to Daniel, who died on the 19th January 2017 from complications caused by Scleroderma, 3A Gallery is delighted to be able to recreate part of that show with the assistance of his partner, Helen Clarkson.
Even before he embarked on his fine art career, Andy Warhol was happy to appropriate the work of others, mainly his mother Julia.
As ‘Andy Warhol’s Mother’, she was recognised for her calligraphy on a Blue Note Album, with an award from the Art Director’s Club. Her handwriting also appears on two other record covers designed by Warhol and on his business card. Her drawings were published as Holy Cats, one of series of books Warhol printed as gifts for his clients & close friends. Another of these books was, Love is a Pink Cake (1953), in which Warhol ‘borrowed’ elements from historical paintings.
After his move into fine art, appropriation continued to be a mainstay of Warhol’s practice. Although Gene Kornman, who took the photograph of Marilyn, felt no hostility, Warhol was sued by the photographer of the image used for his Flowers paintings. Warhol was inspired by Larry Rivers’ portrayal of Lenin in the 1973, New York Collection for Stockholm portfolio in both the subject and the artistic approach which he modified for his Lenin (1987).
Warhol took a laissez faire attitude when his own work was appropriated. Once, asked in an interview, about his technique he replied, ‘I don’t know, ask Elaine’. Elaine was Elaine Sturtevant to whom he had given one of his Flowers silkscreens so she could produce her own. Richard Pettibone, whose miniature versions of painting by Warhol and Lichtenstein have been the cornerstone of his career, found both artists to be supportive (apparently, Frank Stella was less enthusiastic).
Since the 1970’s, silkscreen prints have appeared on the market, that are almost identical to Warhol’s iconic works. The various unauthorised ‘After Andy Warhol’ prints (of which Sunday B Morning are the best known) have been well tolerated and sold in leading auction houses including Christies, Sotheby, Phillips and Bonhams. It seems there are at least three variations, all claiming a connection with the original editions. A very early edition was sometimes inscribed by Andy Warhol with the note ’This is not me’. Although we have never seen any examples we appropriated the phrase for the exhibition title.