The Quiet Sex Appeal of Andy Warhol’s Nudie Drawings
“Into” is a series dedicated to objects, artworks, garments, exhibitions, and all orders of things that we are into — and there really isn’t a lot more to it than that. This week: Mitchell Nugent takes a peek at the collection of illustrations featured in the new book Andy Warhol: Love, Sex, and Desire.
Though the name Andy Warhol may be synonymous with an effervescent palette of puckered Marilyn Monroe lips and dollar signs, Taschen’s new tome on the artist shows a softer side to his aesthetic. Published this week, Andy Warhol. Love, Sex, and Desire. Drawings 1950–1962 features a collection of more than 300 recently excavated illustrations that depict one of Warhol’s favorite subject matters: men. Galleries, museums, and monographs have long exhibited the Interview founder’s appreciation for the male anatomy, but few have displayed works quite as delicate and fragile as these. While Warhol’s etchings of scantily-clad males are brazen, the thin lines of which they are composed endow them with a certain tenderness, as if drawn by the hand of a love-struck teenager. Little butterflies and scribbled hearts adorn the sketches throughout, and in contrast to his punchy, Kool-Aid color palette, here Warhol works mostly in simple black lines. Coupled with sweet poems by the likes of Allen Ginsberg and James Baldwin, the illustrations are imbued with an air of affection that seeps through the pages. Even Warhol’s phallic portraits feel fanciful and oddly romantic, cinched with a bow and presented like a gift that will keep on giving this holiday season.