'In The Bottom of My Garden' by Andy Warhol (1956) in high resolution

warhol in the bottom of my garden This is the image from a book illustrated by Andy Warhol in 1956. Unlike prior works in this period, Warhol relies solely on imagery to depict his meaning in this work. This widely expressive account of faeries and putti, as they cavort in a garden, includes two references to J.J. Grandeville's 1884 work, "Les Fleurs Animée." Grandeville was one of the most important illustrators of Warhol's time, specializing in surrealist drawings that featured anthropomorphic interpretations of animals and flowers.

One of the most important things to note, when studying these exuberant baroque-like drawings, is how Warhol's personality seems to shine through more than with his iconic pop art. His encoded sexuality and fey sensibility seem to shine through as Warhol fights to discover himself, as an artist, without the limitations of being micro-managed by some art directors. (This was especially difficult in a period so addicted to the rise of abstract expressionism.) The most obvious outpouring of Warhol's sexuality can be found in the title alone. "In the Bottom of My Garden" was named after a song by Rose Fyleman and Liza Lahmann entitled, "There are Fairies in the Bottom of My Garden." This song was popularized by Beatrice Lillie, the woman who Warhol depicted in one of his gold shoe collages and who also served as one of the leading gay icons of her time. This process foreshadows the processes he used in 1974's "Flowers (Hand-Colored)" and in the trial proofs of the 1980's.