top of page
  • Writer's pictureDKH Gallery

Andy Warhol & the Graphic Arts

Andy Warhol magazines

By Bianca Mataua

Andy Warhol, a prominent and arguably most well-known American artist and filmmaker, was not only known for his iconic pop art but also for his illustrations and covers for various magazines. Throughout his career, Warhol contributed illustrations and covers to a wide range of publications, from high-end fashion magazines to underground publications. Some of these magazines included Time Magazine, Theatre Arts, American Girl and Good Housekeeping just to name a few. His magazine illustrations and covers were an important aspect of his career and helped to establish him as one of the most influential figures in the world of art and design. I could also argue, which I do in an essay, is that magazines were a vehicle for his experimentation perpetuated in his art forms. The progression from illustrator to marketer to fine artists with his growing interest in various art historical forms can be observed and seen through his different works in these various magazine spreads and covers.



One of Warhol's most famous magazine illustrations was his cover for the June 1960 issue of Harper's Bazaar. This cover featured a photograph of a model wearing a fur hat, with Warhol's illustrations of a skull, a butterfly, and a flower superimposed over the photograph. This cover was a departure from the typical fashion covers of the time, and it was a bold and striking image that helped to establish Warhol as a leading figure in the world of art and design.


Warhol was also the first fine artist to work on the 1965 Times cover, a precedent that began a wonderful collaboration with many future artists. His use of the instant polaroid camera, filters and everyday working class New Yorkers, created an iconic cover that is still the only one of its kind in modern times. (If this topic interests you, as a side note, I cover this more deeply in an essay that can be found on amazon and my website.)



Another important magazine cover that Warhol created was for the October 1963 issue of Esquire. This cover featured an illustration of a skull with a bowtie, and it was a bold and striking image that helped to establish Warhol as a leading figure in the world of art and design. This illustration was also significant because it was a clear reference to the artist's own mortality, and it was one of the first instances where Warhol used the skull as a recurring motif in his work.


Throughout the 1960s, Warhol continued to create illustrations and covers for a wide range of magazines, including Vogue, Glamour, and The New Yorker. These illustrations were often bold and striking, and they helped to establish Warhol as a leading figure in the world of art and design. He would often use these illustrations to explore different themes, such as death, fame, and consumer culture, and they were a reflection of his own personal experiences and feelings.

In addition to his illustrations for mainstream magazines, Warhol also created covers and illustrations for underground publications. These covers were often more experimental.

Theatre Arts


Andy Warhol's illustrations for theatre arts magazine were an important aspect of his career as a graphic designer and artist. Warhol contributed illustrations and covers to the magazine throughout the 1950s, and his work helped to establish him as a leading figure in the world of art and design.


Theatre Arts magazine was a monthly publication that covered the world of theater, dance, and film. Warhol's illustrations for the magazine were often bold and striking, and they helped to establish him as a leading figure in the world of art and design. His illustrations for the magazine were a reflection of his own personal experiences and feelings, and they often explored themes such as fame, consumer culture, and the entertainment industry.


One of Warhol's most famous illustrations for Theatre Arts magazine was his cover for the June 1952 issue. The cover featured an illustration of a woman in a red dress, with the word "Theatre" written in bold, black letters. This cover was a departure from the typical theater magazine covers of the time, and it was a bold and striking image that helped to establish Warhol as a leading figure in the world of art and design.

Warhol's illustrations for Theatre Arts magazine were also significant because they marked the beginning of his career as a graphic designer. Prior to working on the magazine, Warhol had little experience as a graphic designer, but his illustrations for Theatre Arts helped to establish him as a talented and versatile artist. His work for the magazine helped to pave the way.


It is clear that magazines were a vehicle for illustrative exploration that bleeded into his fine art and psyche. He was able to play and experiment and figure out what would work with a freedom he wasn't able to find in his pop art. He was able to reach a specific audience in each magazine niche and explore the image and word relationship without any expectation or pressure. His creative prowress and process were explored delving into various subject matters and themes that permeate the social condition of the time. The importance of his work in this graphic medium cannot be overlooked.

3 views0 comments
bottom of page