Banana 10 by Andy Warhol depicts the banana design that he created as an album cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico, where he devised a silkscreen image of a banana with a stick on peel that could be removed to expose the bare fruit. For this later piece, Warhol used the same single yellow banana image and screenprinted it on piece of plastic that could also be pulled off, this time to reveal a red colored fruit below.
Banana 10 as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
In addition to creating Banana 10, Warhol also expanded into the realm of performance art with a traveling multimedia show called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which featured a rock band called The Velvet Underground. In 1965, he became the band’s manager and led them to sign a contract with Verve Records. He designed the album cover for their debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico, which features the same imagery detailed in this print. The banana is one of Warhol’s most famous and recognized symbols, and it has always been speculated what the origins of his famous fruit are. However, the band (unsuccessfully) sued the Andy Warhol Foundation over the copyright of the image, as they felt they should own the rights to the Warhol banana.
Photo credits: Andy Warhol handling banana prints and Gerard Malanga holding silk screen at the Silver Factory by Billy Name, 1966, via The Painting Factory.