More on the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” cover

Andy Warhol produced the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” sleeve in five variations with the help of Billy Klüver, who had recorded the interviews with the artists involved in the “Popular Images” exhibition at the (now defunkt) Washington Gallery of Modern Art that ran from 18th April until 2nd June, 1963. The exact history is not known. A first edition of 75 sleeves with black image screened directly onto the coated stock record sleeve, each signed and numbered on verso was produced in 1963. He could even have printed the coloured covers at the same time or, having saved the screen, made them in 1971. Editions of 75 copies each, silkscreening the black “Giant Size” image onto sleeves that he had first spray painted. There were yellow, green, red and orange editions. These were sold in 1971.

Many covers have included the record from the “Popular Images” exhibition, possibly because Billy Klüver had a stock of the LPs. The record, comprising interviews with all eleven artists whose works were shown at the exhibition was recorded by Billy Klüver and originally came in a cover designed by Jim Dine. It seems, however, that the “Giant Size” cover was not shown at the exhibition.

Image

Copies of the cover with or without the record have changed hands for anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000, making them unattainable for most collectors of Andy Warhol’s record sleeve art.

However, the technique should be easy to replicate and the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” image is easy to find and reproduce. All that is needed is the right materials. Sufficient 12-inch record sleeves, spray paints, a silk screen and emulsion for transferring the image from overhead film to the screen. Then acrylic paint to screen the image onto the pre-prepared covers.

Image

So, having foraged for all the materials I set to work and spent 2 1/2 hours spraypainting record sleeves in the four colours.

GiantSize_RedUntil all four colours were sprayed.

I had put my name down to go a silkscreen course and was one of six “pupils” to participate on the weekend of October 12-13th. I intended to make ten sets of five covers and silkscreen the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” design onto two T-shirts.

The silkscreen with the "Giant Size $1.57  Each" image in reverse together with the overhead from which the image was taken.
The silkscreen with the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” image in reverse together with the overhead from which the image was taken.

Then I got down to silkscreening the covers, beginning with the yellow ones. Orange, green and red covers followed and finally, when had learned the technique better, I screened the white, unsprayed sleeves. I had ordered 50 covers – so no room for error. Unfortunately there were a few poor screens so I will need more covers to complete the ten sets I had planned.

The five members of our informal Warhol Cover Collectors Club have contributed to the production of these covers and will each receive a set of all five colours,

Silkscreening the first cover.
Silkscreening the first cover.
The first yellow sleeves screened.
The first yellow sleeves screened.
One set of five screened sleeves.
One set of five screened sleeves.
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15 thoughts on “More on the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” cover”

    1. Hi again ROb!
      I was in too much of a hurry when I replied. Actually, Warhol Illustrated/designed several covers for 45s in addition to the RATFAB single. Early in his career he illustrated covers for RCA EPs by Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops (“Latin Rhythms”), “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.”, “William Tell Overture” (both 10″ LP and 7″ EP) and EPs were released of RCA LPs by Artie Shaw (“Both Feet in the Groove” and “Any Old Time”), By The Joe Newman Octet (“I’m Still Swinging”) and Count Basie (“Count Basie”) that featured his LP artwork on the Eps. He also did a design for a 45 entitled “Progressive Piano” that was never released. Check out my list of Warhol covers at:
      http://rateyourmusic.com/list/rockdoc/andy_warhols_record_cover_art/
      to see all these covers.
      Regards, Richard

    1. Niklas Guy är den verkliga experten när det gäller “Giant Size” och det jag lärt av honom är att alla 75 ex av det vita konvolutet var signerade och numrerade. Så jag undrar lite om denna vita omslag som såldes så sent som i maj i år. Den innehöll ju skivan, vilket borde borga för att det är äkta – ja, mycket mystiskt & märkligt. Richard

      Sent from my iPhone

    1. Niklas, As I hope you will find out tonight when your little parcel arrives, Paul Maréchal in his lovely book reports that the Giant Size came in FIVE colours – White, yellow, green, orange and RED. Your link is to the red version. You will find that the copy you receiveis pretty much identical. I have it on Matt Wrbican’s authority that these five colours were then ONLY ones Warhol made.
      As to the red copy being signed – well, that is possible. Warhol signed loads of stuff.
      We think that Warhol probably made ALL colours in 1963, but only sold the coloured ones in 1971. But he may have saved the screen and made the coloured ones in 1971. As I have said before, the “Giant Size” history is not really clear.

      1. Richard, according to Feldman & Schellmann the edition of 75 was signed in 1971. They must have had a good reason to write this. So maybe it was the other way round: all colours in 1963, white edition signed and numbered in 1971? By the way, who is ‘We think’, is that you and Matt? Cheers, Guy

      2. Guy! Thanks for the further info on the “Giant Size” covers. MAtt Wrbican said that there were five colours; white, red, yellow, orange and green. He also said that there were “no blue or purple ones, probably because the paint shop was out of those colours on the day”.

    1. Niklas, thanks for a nice post. One little correction: it seems that the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” cover was not actually included in the “Popular Images” exhibition in 1963, but could have been made afterwards as Billy had records over and Andy had record covers lying around. A little coincidence is that the recreated “Giant Size $1.57 Each” that you are so happy with, was produced exactly 50 years after the original. A sort of 50th Anniversary edition!

      1. The “Giant Size” was not mentioned in the catalogue. Neither as an item in the exhibition, nor as a series made especially for the exhibition. That does not prove the records were never there, of course. It would be so nice if we could find someone who actually attended that show, and could tell us what exactly Warhol did with the records!

      2. Billy Klüver recorded the record in March 1963 and as you have suggested it was sold at the Popular Image Exhibition in the Jim Dine cover. I agree that it would be useful to find someone who was at the exhibition who could confirm or deny that the “Giant Size” cover was displayed.
        But what if Billy Klüver had a further stock of records and Andy Warhol had a pile of record covers lying around and they decided to make covers for the records? Unfortunately, we cannot ask Billy – or Andy.

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