Initialed 'T.J.H.' by Timothy J. Hunt of The Andy Warhol Foundation in pencil and 'Estate of Andy Warhol,' 'Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts' stamps on the verso.
This polaroid from 1978 occupies a place of particular import in Warhol’s oeuvre. Starting in the early 1960s, Warhol carried a polaroid camera with him everywhere, resulting in the creation of a visual diary of sorts. Its import to his practice can be seen in that he referred to the camera as his “pencil and paper,” and subsequently created a variety of works of art based on the results. Bananas are a particularly important subject for the artist for an assortment of reasons. In 1967, Warhol created the album cover for the debut album of The Velvet Underground, which consisted of a ripe yellow banana over a white background. The cover was notorious for its simplicity and allusion to male sexuality through its phallic shape. This sensibility was underscored in early editions of the record which featured a sticker that could be peeled off of the fruit to reveal the words “Peel Slowly and See.”
Though Warhol ended his management of the band in 1968, he continued to depict bananas in both silkscreens and polaroids. As with the series of Campbell Soup Cans, their representation is illustrative of Warhol’s dedication to the elevation of the quotidian object to the fine art realm, as bananas were perhaps the most commonplace fruit for American families across the country. The depiction of bananas in this fashion can also be interpreted as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the history of art and the tradition of still life painting. As the heyday of Polaroids came to its end shortly after this decade, the work also stands alone as an important relic of an inimitable moment in the history of photography. Overall, this work encapsulates key aspects of Warhol’s artistic practice and his legacy at a unique time in American history.
The artist's estate The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc., New York Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York Private collection, United States Christie's New York, October 6, 2015, lot 18 Private collection, United States Private collection, New York
New York, Kasmin Gallery, Andy Warhol Still-Life Polaroids, October 29, 2008 - January 10, 2009.
Charlotte, NC, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Pop to Now: Warhol and his Legacy, September 10, 2022 - February 26, 2023.