Warhol's Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands reframed in our studio
Andy Warhol is the undisputed master of Pop Art and Frames and Stretchers recently had the opportunity to frame 3 works by the superstar artist. His portrait of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is in his signature silkscreen portrait style. The other two are a pair of his later abstracts. All three came from collectors who had them previously framed. The royal portrait was a simple matter of re-hinging and reassembling the frame. The abstracts, however, offered the opportunity for us to design a stunning steel frame. Each piece was hinged on archival cotton rag mat board and the abstract pieces were protected behind Optium Museum Plexiglass.
One of the abstract prints framed and a detail of the steel molding with detail
Warhol began his career in commercial art during the 1950s and this likely contributed to his interest in popular culture. Along with his famous soup cans and Brillo boxes, he screen printed numerous celebrity portraits. Some of the most famous include Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, and Chairman Moa. The piece we worked on is from a signed edition and part of his "Reigning Queens" series created in 1985. The others in the series are Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland. A collector who's recently moved to New York from the Netherlands asked us to refresh this piece that was originally framed in the UK.
The two abstract prints installed by Art Delivery Van
During the 80s Warhol also produced a group of abstract screen prints. Although not quite as iconic as his pop art portraits they demonstrate the artist's diversity. Many of these works were included in the recent Warhol retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. After we framed this pair of prints in custom brushed steel frames we entrusted them to our partners at Art Delivery Van. The team then transported and installed them in the happy collector's home.
A recent project at Frames and Stretchers involved the intersection of Andy Warhol’s Factory and the 70s downtown punk scene. We had the opportunity to frame an original Jon Pellicoro, “Andy Warhol” hand grenade. The unique and edgy graphic work was given a high-end treatment befitting a museum quality piece. We built a beautiful closed corner maple frame gilded with 22K gold. The grenade was hinged using Japanese paper and rice paste and mounted behind Optium museum acrylic.
Jon Pellicoro's Andy Warhol inspired hand grenade
Pellicoro was the drummer for the short-lived band the Handgrenades who hailed from Long Island and played Bowery circuit venues like Max’s and CBGB’s. He and band mate Bob Kern have been described as “mordant provocateurs, and good ones at that”. * It was Pellicoro who produced the grenades.
Doing conservation work on the grenade print
Details of the closed corner frame and 22K gold leaf
As a professional graphic artist who worked for the East Village Eye and was a partner in the design firm Grafix Multimedia, Pellicoro had the skills to experiment with unusual advertising gimmicks to promote the band. After a trip to the Factory he got the idea to produce a number of Warhol “inspired” hand grenades to pitch the band's 1979 single Demo to London. These grenade cutouts bore the name of the band and song as well as a “replica” Andy Warhol signature. Many storeowners thought the artworks were authentic Warhols and some were stolen. Some found the grenades to be a clever gimmick, while others were less than amused. Kern says they even tried to provoke Andy himself, “We also put one in Warhol's elevator, we posted them in the elevator of the Factory, and we sent them up to the third floor and walked off.”* Apparently Warhol verbally threatened to sue them, but nothing ever came of it.
The former promotional material in it's beautiful new frame
Now the grenades are a piece of urban folklore and it seems appropriate to have the opportunity to help preserve such a great piece of NYC history here at our LES location!