April 27, 2017
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!