Rarely do we get to peek at a private gift. In essence, that is what Andy Warhol: Making Money, a forthcoming release from Skira/Rizzoli, allows. Warhol produced the original drawings for Making Money in 1981. That year the artist presented them as a gift to Berkeley Reinhold, just a young girl at the time. The daughter of John Reinhold and cousin of visionary critic and curator Henry Geldzahler, Berkeley was Warhol’s ear to youthful trend.

Fittingly, the preface belongs to Ms. Reinhold. With great charm, she recounts several experiences with Warhol leading to the gift. Moments on the phone. Times where the artist provided school aid. And, finally the gift. The subject of money and art were not new to the pair, so the drawings have a personal base. From page one through the end Warhol’s drawings grow from simple outlines and curves to finish with a recognizable rendering of the dollar sign.

Reinhold’s story accompanies contributions from Debbie Harry and Vincent Fremont. Harry simply offers a break down of the contents – the gift, the drawings, the unique nature of the assembled drawings. Fremont, in contrast, contextualizes Making Money in a thorough essay titled “Andy and the Dollar Sign.” Fremont’s thoughts dovetail nicely with Reinhold… they form the critical counterpoint of Warhol the commercial artist to Andy the family friend. What makes the gift most unusual, and lovely, then is an understanding of both Warhol’s obsession with money and the initial reluctance of the art world to embrace his paintings of dollar signs. Here is an artist sharing his newest (in some respects) work with his most cherished fan.

The drawings themselves serve mostly to highlight Warhol’s obsessions. The charm is in the story and this publication doesn’t falter, recognizing that truth completely. With the exception of Harry’s short quip, the essays provide depth and vigor to the collected dollar signs and offer enough new insight to generate real interest.

All images credit Andy Warhol: Making Money, Preface by Berkeley Reinhold with contributions by Vincent Fremont and Deborah Harry, Skira/Rizzoli, 2010.

The book is out in October. A selection of page views follow after the jump.

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