Andy Warhol’s Christmas Art


You may have read our post on the cre­ative ways in which John Waters express­es his love for Christ­mas. We’d all like to receive one of the Christ­mas cards the Hair­spray film­mak­er has designed him­self every year since 1964, but did you know that anoth­er famous cre­ator, one also per­ceived as eccen­tric and pos­sessed of his very own con­cepts of taste, embraced the sea­son with equal artis­tic vig­or?  “Andy Warhol’s fond­ness for Campbell’s Soup cans is well doc­u­ment­ed,” writes Jen­nifer M. Wood at Men­tal Floss. “Less well known but equal­ly ardent was his love of the hol­i­day sea­son. Yes, from poin­set­tias to San­ta hats, the enig­mat­ic artist who promised we’d all have our 15 min­utes of fame spent much of the 1950s work­ing as a com­mer­cial illus­tra­tor spe­cial­iz­ing in blot­ted line draw­ings, cre­at­ing every­thing from shoe adver­tise­ments to greet­ing cards.”


The arti­cle goes on to dis­play the fruits of Warhol’s pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al inter­est in Christ­mas, which ran his per­son­al gamut of both tech­nique and visu­al sen­si­bil­i­ty. At the top, we have his sim­ple 1954 ink-and-paper draw­ing of a “Christ­mas Fairy,” bear­ing the greet­ing “Mer­ry Christ­mas to you.” Just above, you can see his col­or ren­der­ing, from three years lat­er, of a Christ­mas orna­ment. Wood reports that such works went up for sale at two events this year from fine-art auc­tion house Christie’s: “ ‘Warhol­i­day,’ a pop-up event at the San Fran­cis­co Mul­ber­ry Store [which] fea­tured 36 works by the late, great artist, some of them nev­er-before-seen and all of them for sale,” and “ ‘A Christ­mas Thing,’ an online-only auc­tion that fea­tured 100 orig­i­nal pho­tos, prints, and draw­ings from the mas­ter of Pop Art” ben­e­fit­ing The Andy Warhol Foun­da­tion for the Visu­al Arts.” And as we can call no pre­sen­ta­tion of Warhol’s work com­plete, even on Christ­mas Eve, with­out the inclu­sion of some­thing that will get a view­er or two ask­ing whether it counts as art at all, behold his 1981 Polaroid of San­ta Claus:


Find more Andy Warhol Christ­mas-themed art at Men­tal Floss.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Andy Warhol Cre­ates Album Cov­ers for Jazz Leg­ends Thelo­nious Monk, Count Basie & Ken­ny Bur­rell

Roy Licht­en­stein and Andy Warhol Demys­ti­fy Their Pop Art in Vin­tage 1966 Film

John Waters Makes Hand­made Christ­mas Cards, Says the “Whole Pur­pose of Life is Christ­mas”

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, Asia, film, lit­er­a­ture, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on his brand new Face­book page.

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