Before spearheading the Pop Art movement in the 1960s, Andy Warhol made a name for himself by creating illustrations for prestigious New York magazines including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Learn more about the significance of his much-loved work, ‘I love you so’, 1958, and its influence on the prince of Pop’s remarkable artistic development.
Andy Warhol’s artistic career began when his father, recognising his son’s talent, saved up for him to study pictorial design at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. A sanctuary away from the noisy steel mills and factories where he grew up, the college helped Warhol unleash a range of new artistic skills, including his now famous ‘blotted line’ technique.
A rudimentary form of printmaking, it involved tracing images onto folded pieces of transparent paper, applying ink to the outlines, and ‘blotting’ the ink while it was still wet to create a mirror image of delicate, dappled lines.
Besides being able to make multiple copies of a single master image, the technique also enabled Warhol to embrace imperfections. Featuring ten bright red hearts with dappled black outlines and a sweet blue dove fluttering its wings, ‘I love you so’, 1958 is a classic example of Warhol’s early talent for the blotted-line printmaking technique.
Beautifully composed, ‘I love you so’ also features Andy’s mother Julia Warhola’s highly original, yet untrained curlicue handwriting. Born into a peasant family in the Rusyn village of Mikó, Austria-Hungary (now Miková in northeast Slovakia), Julia was a huge influence on her son and artist in her own right.
When she struggled to make ends meet during the Great Depression, she crafted delicate flower arrangements out of discarded metal cans and went from door to door selling them to local residents with her three young sons in tow.
When Andy was sick throughout his childhood, Julia cared for him full-time, keeping him occupied in bed with colouring books. The two remained incredibly close (she even lived with him in New York for almost 20 years, right up until her death in 1972), and her entrepreneurial spirit and natural artistic talent evidently rubbed off on Andy.
Her distinctive calligraphy appears in many of Warhol’s early works and is a testament to their close, collaborative relationship. With the help of his mother, Warhol was able to claim many artistic accolades, eventually becaming one of the most sought-after commercial illustrators of his day.
Working in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York, we’re honoured to offer a range of Warhol’s iconic works as accredited fine art prints.
©/®/™ The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
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