EYE CANDY

A Rare Look at Andy Warhol’s Surprisingly Racy Drawings

Andy Warhol

They may be his most famous, but Andy Warhol‘s “Sex Parts” series were not the artist’s first nudes. The originals date all the way back to Warhol’s days as a commercial illustrator, when, in between working on shoe ads and album covers, he’d also occasionally turn his attention to line drawings, using a ballpoint pen to sketch out the delicate outlines of, more often than not, either a face or a penis. In some ways, those illustrations are even racier than their famed counterparts: Whereas the latter rely on vivid colors to catch the eye, the stark lines of the former have such playful confidence that it’s hard to believe he only dared to incorporate nudity into his fine art practice two decades later—and even then, only in private. (They weren’t even exhibited in Warhol’s lifetime.) These days, of course, the idea that a gallery would be too fearful to exhibit Warholian phalluses is almost laughable, and there’s definitely no shortage of them at the moment in New York City, in the Whitney Museum and beyond. On view through March 10, a new exhibition at the New York Academy of Art showcases Warhol’s draftsmanship—and to say that it’s comprehensive may be an understatement: The 150-plus drawings on view, some for the first time ever in the U.S., stretch from 1948, when Warhol was a 20-year-old, to 1985, two years before his death. Take a look inside—and at yet another side of Warhol—here.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Reclining Male Nude Partial Figure, 1957. Black ballpoint on manila paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, 1975. Graphite on wove paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Serious Girl, 1954. Ink and graphite on paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Gun, 1981-82. Graphite on HMP paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1986. Synthetic polymer paint on paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Self Portrait Andy Warhol at the Age of Two, 1952. Ink on paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Unidentified Male. Black ballpoint on manila paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Excited Male Torso, 1957. Black pen on paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.

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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Two Male Heads Face to Face, Outline, ca. 1952. Ink and graphite on paper. Featured in the exhibition “Andy Warhol by Hand: Drawings 1950s – 1980s,” on view at the New York Academy of Art through March 10, 2019.