Andy Warhol's most enduring culinary feat may have been the promotion of Campbell's Tomato Soup across the world, but a new auction item shows that Warhol wasn't just about the convenience of high-sodium content canned goods – he also had a taste for haute cuisine, in his own peculiar fashion.
Wild Raspberries was originally self-published by Susie Frankfurt and Warhol in 1959 as a satire of the commercial cookbooks that were gaining popularity in the post-war economic boom of the United States. Only 34 copies were produced, with most of them going to friends as gifts. Ironically, for an artist who would soon make mass production a signature of his life's work, Warhol's cookbook was extremely bespoke and individualized, featuring illustrations from his mother Julia Warhola, coloring in by neighboring schoolboys, and being bound into books by local rabbis.
Wild Raspberries (the title is a spin on Wild Strawberries a film by Ingmar Bergman) includes "recipes" for a suckling pig (you just order one from Trader Vic's) and "Omelet Greta Garbo," which should "always be eaten alone in a candlelit room." Warhol's musings continue to appear throughout the book, making it not just a satirical cookbook but an insightful and rarefied piece of the pop artist's legacy, which is why it's fetching for approximately $30,000 - $50,000 at Bonham's auction house in New York.
"These self-published books from the early 1950s shed a fascinating light on the mind and artistic practice of Andy Warhol in the years before he became a gallery artist and later, of course, one of the most recognized figures in the world. The books were mainly intended as whimsical gifts for friends and clients, but they perfectly encapsulate all the playfulness and love of graphic design which characterized Warhol’s work as a commercial artist and which he later incorporated into his mature work" says Bonhams' books and manuscripts specialist, Darren Sutherland.
Should you want to bid on the piece of pop-art ephemera, the Bonhams auction runs online from Monday, March 22 through to March 30.