Andy Warhol‘s signed screen print Cantaloupes I (F. & S. II.201)depicts six photographed and colored cantaloupes bunched together. They have been illuminated from the left, and their shadows, intensified with aqua and black drawn-in outlines, extend upwards off the right side of the picture frame. The composition is divided into two sections by two darker rectangles, one of which contains four of the fruits. This weighting tips the composition off balance, giving the “space fruit” a sense of whimsy and defiance of gravity.
The enigmatic series Space Fruit is a rare series of still life for the artist, who was normally occupied by prints of celebrities such as Marilyn, Jackie Kennedy, or even the Queen. Here, the collage-like images of fruit become heavily abstracted. This image, one of two prints of cantaloupes in the series, heightens the texture of the fruit’s rind, making it almost unrecognisable. Warhol began the series Space Fruit in 1977 in collaboration with printer Rupert Jasen Smith. He published the series in 1979.