hands, doing things
Everyone has always heard that Andy Warhol was an illustrator, originally, of shoes and cookbooks. I was convinced my old Joy of Cooking was done by him, but it turns out these disembodied hands in Juliet Greco sleeves were actually done in 1931. Somehow I don't believe this date. These hands are so like Warhol's in Amy Vanderbilt's 1961 cookbook, below. Nonetheless, such drawings are both clear and bizarre: what the hand needs to know about making bread, or rolled sandwiches. Pinwheels these were called. Just a couple of years later the Velvet Underground was formed as Warhol's house band.
In American Masters: Lou Reed, rerun on PBS on the weekend, Reed said that Warhol had a levelling eye – politicians, stars, soup cans – all were treated the same. This determined indifference is the ultimate democracy: the line drawing of two hands cutting the side off a loaf of bread means nothing other than cutting off the side of the loaf. It isn't a cleverly-shaped baguette or a whole grain loaf — it appears to be an unsliced wonder loaf. These hands don't even have sleeves. The bread board has no perspective, neither does the loaf; there are no crumbs. The knives, the long pin and their blunt attacks on the bread are both clumsy and sinister. I find the drawings both wry and amusing. They are unarticulated, but not inarticulate.