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© Andy Warhol / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Andy Warhol: Bananas

In 1967, Andy Warhol designed one of the most iconic album covers of all time, featuring a simple yellow banana on the sleeve of The Velvet Underground’s debut record. Warhol, undeterred by his lack of experience in the music industry, had become the band’s manager two years prior and even introduced the German vocalist Nico to the group. Early editions of the record cover featured removable stickers, allowing music fans to peel the banana’s yellow skin to reveal a pink fruit underneath. These early covers, now a rare collector’s item, also included the titillating suggestion, “Peel Slowly and See.” Though Warhol cut ties with The Velvet Underground in 1968, he continued experimenting with the banana motif in silkscreens and polaroids, favoring the fruit for its phallic shape and ubiquity in American daily life.

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