Study of a Rooster Statue
Charcoal on Paper
24 ¾ x 19 in.; 62.9 x 48.3 in.
Gift of Charles Lisanby
This drawing is a sketch of a rooster statue that sat in Charles’ New York apartment during the 1950s and was one of the many items that he and Andy Warhol would sketch together. After their initial introduction in 1955, Charles and Andy immediately became very close friends and began spending a great deal of time together, even departing on a trip around the world together the following summer. The two would often spend their Saturdays and Sundays cooped up in Charles’ apartment sharing ideas and drawing the various found objects that filled it. According to Charles, Warhol’s Rooster with Coca Cola Bottle from 1960, which is now housed in the National Gallery of Scotland, was done from the same statue as this piece.
Studying Charles and Andy’s different interpretations of this statue illuminates two very distinct styles of drawing, and indeed two mutually exclusive artistic philosophies. Charles, on the one hand, builds the rooster carefully from short strokes that mirror the way most laypersons would draw. Andy’s rooster, on the other hand, is built from rigid, regular, wholly depersonalized lines that create a commodified aesthetic he aimed for in all of his art. This divergence in artistic philosophies—Charles being much more conservative and refined compared to Andy’s stark, simple, modern aesthetic—would prove to be one major factor behind their eventual rift.