History of Sunday B. Morning and Andy Warhol
The origin of the name “Sunday B. Morning” remains a mystery. It’s rumored that it might have derived from Sunday Belgian Morning but who knows? Much is unknown of early Sunday B. Morning.
What is known is that after Andy Warhol published his famous “Factory Editions” of Marilyn, Flowers and Campbell’s Soup Cans, he began collaborating with two anonymous friends from Belgium in 1970 on a second series of prints. The original idea behind this partnership for Warhol was to play on the concept of mass production. Andy loved to comment on this phenomenon through his art. The black ink stamp “fill in your own signature” was inspired by mass production’s impact on modern culture. The thought was, ‘here we just mass-produced these prints; sign your name here. Any name will do. Because yours is as important as my own.’ The new prints were exacting in detail to the Factory Editions and so Warhol was essentially mocking the idea that the Factory Edition prints were somehow more important than these new prints.
They published editions of 250 of Marilyn, Flowers, Campbell’s Soup Cans and Campbell’s Soup Cans II. Their work looked exactly like the Factory Editions…and why wouldn’t they? These prints were created with exactly the same tools and methods Andy Warhol himself had used for the original Factory Editions.
When the Sunday B. Morning editions were first released in 1970, Andy Warhol was not pleased. He had tried to stop production but could not. Because he had handed over the tools for the prints to be published, filing a suit would have been difficult. So when he periodically ran across a Sunday B. Morning print, Warhol would sign them “This is not by me. Andy Warhol” to express his ironic dissatisfaction. This of course only made the prints more sought after, especially the ones he signed in defiance.
Today, the black ink Sunday B. Morning prints are very rare, as many did not survive the test of time. Sunday B. Morning began publishing the prints again, after many years, in the late 90s and they continue to publish Marilyn, Flowers, Soup Cans as well as Golden Marilyn, Mao and Dollar editions today. All these prints are also stamped – now with blue ink – on the verso with “fill in your own signature” and “published by Sunday B. Morning”. While ownership of Sunday B. Morning has changed hands a couple times, the prints are still published by the same print shop in Belgium, using the same printing process they’ve used since their inception.
There are many publishers are out there who have tried to reproduce these impressions, but none come close to the integrity of a Sunday B. Morning. This is because only Sunday B. Morning possesses the photo negatives needed to create silkscreens exactly like the ones Andy Warhol used for his Factory Editions. Andy Warhol himself gave two Belgians the tools to create Sunday B. Morning, much to his later chagrin. Why he never made an attempt to challenge their use of his art work remains a mystery to this day.