Warhol!

The front of the invitation in original condition. Card stock is wavy. Note the event is called "Expanding Plastic Inevitable" here. Warhol liked to mix it up that way.

The front of the invitation in original condition. Card stock is wavy. Note the event is called “Expanding Plastic Inevitable” here. Warhol liked to mix it up that way.

The more problematic side of the item. The remains of a sticker are evident. It and the adhesive residue must be removed without damaging the surface of the card.

The more problematic side of the item. The remains of a sticker are evident. It and the adhesive residue must be removed without damaging the surface of the card.

The reverse side of the invitation.

Topographic shot.

Not all of our projects involve posters or even linen backing. Sometimes we get unusual things that need a little cleaning up. This is an original invitation to Andy Warhol’s 1966 multimedia event Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Like most things Warholian, it is worth some money, and the client naturally wanted it to look as presentable as possible before attempting to sell it. The repair of this piece would be a simple matter of carefully removing the glued-on paper remnants from the back, and flattening the paper. A minimal amount of work for maximal effect, which is our default setting anyway.

Warhol During

Melissa (our resident expert in all things unusual) began by carefully wetting the extra paper remnants with a q-tip in order to soften them up.

She then scrapes the old paper bits and adhesive off the surface of the card, taking extra care not to scrape too vigorously.

She then scrapes the old paper bits and adhesive off the surface of the card, taking extra care not to scrape too vigorously.

Melissa then uses a teflon burnisher to smooth out any fuzziness or irregularities caused by all the scraping.

Melissa then uses a teflon burnisher to smooth out any fuzziness or irregularities caused by all the scraping.

After Melissa has scraped all the glue and paper off, she humidifies the card in a sealed chamber for a short time. This makes the paper fibers more pliable and ready for flattening. She then puts the card in a press overnight.

The shine was lost on some of the surface where the sticker had been, so Melissa lightly airbrushes some gloss medium over the paper. She shields the rest of the card from the spray using a handheld plastic mask.

The shine was lost on some of the surface where the sticker had been, so Melissa lightly airbrushes some gloss medium over the paper. She shields the rest of the card from the spray using a handheld plastic mask.

The front of the invitation after flattening.

The front of the invitation after flattening. Notice the silvery paper is now completely un-wavy and ding free.

The reverse side of the invitation after the sticker and adhesive have been removed and the card has been flattened.

warholfrontbeforeafterwarholreversebeforeafter

The Exploding Plastic Inevitable was a 1966-67 series of multimedia events held by Andy Warhol in different cities around the country. Musical performances by the Velvet Underground and Nico were accompanied by dance performances by Gerard Melanga and Edie Sedgwick. It would have looked much like today’s live popular music, with film projections and light shows. But this was 1966, and many elements in the Exploding Plastic Inevitable were the first of their kind. Back then, when your average person was not as overstimulated as we are today, it would have been a completely overwhelming psychedelic freak-out.

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