Andy Warhol - Love Is A Pink Cake

In 1952, Andy Warhol created his first illustrated books, including the book Love is a Pink Cake. Written alongside Warhol’s friend and then-boyfriend Ralph “Corkie” Ward, the book consists of Warhol’s illustrations accompanied by Ward’s verses. The compilation contains twenty-five offset lithographs printed on blue paper telling the stories of star-crossed lovers including Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, and Sampson and Delilah.

The books were created to be given as gifts, as well as for promotional purposes - a number of these books were given to friends and sold in bookstores. Warhol himself saw to it that a copy of the book was donated to the Graphic Arts Collection of the Princeton University Library in 1953.

Love is a Pink Cake exemplifies Warhol’s signature “blotted line” technique, which he developed as a student at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. By drawing the original image on one sheet, and then blotting that sheet with a second sheet while the ink was still wet, this technique allowed Warhol to produce copies of an image that were not exact duplicates. Warhol attributed his use of technique to two things: accidentally spilling ink and blotting it dry, and dissatisfaction with his own drawing style. The exact number of Love is a Pink Cake portfolios is unknown, but several sources indicate that 100 were created. Warhol’s usage of the blotted line technique assured that no two “copies” are exactly alike. This capacity for creating small differences within the same image carried over into Warhol’s pop career, contributing to his passion for the screenprinted image.