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One of Andy Warhol’s first art projects was a vintage cookbook

Before he was an internationally renowned pop art icon, Andy Warhol was illustrating expressionistic culinary handbooks.

In 1959, at an art exhibition held in Manhattan’s Serendipity ice cream parlour, highly esteemed avant-garde hostess and interior designer Suzie Frankfurt came across the work of a young Andy Warhol.

The Andy Warhol treasure remained untouched for over 40 years until it was discovered by Frankfurt’s son and published for the rest of the world to see in 1997.

Frankfurt was unfamiliar with Warhol’s work but was immediately intrigued by the unusual watercolours that fashioned abstract flowers and butterflies. At this current time, Andy Warhol was working as an art director and illustrating his own series of whimsical children’s books.

Highly intrigued by the works of the young artist, Frankfurt booked an appointment to meet Warhol in the apartment he shared with his mother.

“I shall never forget that meeting. Andy greeted me as if we had known each other for years. He was especially fascinated by the fact I grew up in Malibu and had lived next door to [the actress] Myrna Loy. He also loved the fact I collected antique jewellery“.

The two became close nearly instantaneously and by autumn that year, the pair had decided to work together to mass produce a series of 1950s inspired whimsical, French cookbooks called Wild Raspberries.

“I felt we had become new best friends in an instant. We made a lunch date for the following day, and that was how it started.”

The creative process began as Warhol illustrated images with his signature watercolour Dr. Martin paints, Frankfurt detailing the creative recipes and Julia Warhol adding the delicate text calligraphy.

By the end of the process, the three creators and their four assistants had produced 34 completed copies of the full-colour cookbook.

The result was a detailed work of art that was filled to the brim with the mesmerising talent of three gifted individuals. Unfortunately, the dream of publishing their works never eventuated and the small masterpieces were distributed to friends and family, and small art venues.

The whimsical cookbook is now available to the whole world, and although the recipes are more artistic than culinary, they represent the epitome of Warhol’s art and are absolutely delightful in their own right.

“Clearly, [the recipes] won’t help with your cooking, but they are indicative of all of Andy’s work: they are immediate. … Wild Raspberries, like everything Warhol did, is about the finished product, not about process”

You can purchase the Wild Raspberries cookbook here.

via Brain Pickings. 


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August 8, 2018