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Gianfranco Rosini and his Liza Minnelli by Andy Warhol, Photo by MAG_BTM

Art, Love and Warhol: How one of the largest Andy Warhol private collections in the world was built

The Rosini Gutman Collection began with romance. Over more than four decades Gianfranco has fused his passion, experience and family tradition, assembling masterpieces by international artists and one of the largest Andy Warhol’s collections worldwide. When Delia Gutman and Gianfranco Rosini married in the late ‘90s, they came together in union to create their very own art collection.

From unseen works and multiples, to iconic and unique pieces depicting Andy Warhol’s thoroughness and aesthetic sensitivity, Rosini Gutman’s Andy Warhol collection is one of the most important anthologies of the godfather of Pop Art, outlining most of the entire artistic and iconographic trajectory of the artist from 1957 to 1987.

Here, Italian-based art collector and curator Gianfranco Rosini discusses his favourite’s from the collection, and how he’s bringing Warhol’s works to blockchain.

  1. How did you start collecting Andy Wahrol’s work, and what was the first piece in your collection?

    I was born into an artistic family; both my parents, Pietro Rosini and Annamaria Cosenza, were art collectors and dealers, running the Rosini Gallery in our hometown Riccione, Italy. I started helping them early on while I also worked in an art gallery dedicated to graphic designs and prints, which they opened with Nicola Marra under the very same porch across the hall of our family’s gallery.

    Warhol was one of the first artists I was able to add to my personal collection, starting with the Ladies and Gentlemen series of screen prints. I bought my first satchel between 1975 and 1976 when I was just a kid; I didn’t have much money on my own then. I remember persuading my mother and brother to invest in this wallet and buy a few extra copies. I had also become friends with the photographer Dino Pedriali, who was Warhol’s assistant at the time, so I also tried to get other folders at an advantageous price.

    Created in 1975, Ladies and Gentlemen is a series of glamorous portraits of socially marginalized transvestites and drag queens from the “Gilden Grape Club” who, thanks to Warhol, have become as famous as the VIPs of Studio 54, which was one of the liveliest places meet again for music, art and nightlife in 1970s New York. Since that day our Andy Warhol collection has grown to 2-300 works, becoming one of the most important and representative collections of Andy Warhol’s work in Europe, if not in the world.


    Ladies & Gentlemen, Andy Warhol (1975). Photo courtesy of the Rosini-Gutman collection

  1. Speaking of Interview magazine – which Warhol curated and edited from 1969 to 1986 – do you have any of the original issues in your collection?

    I had them all, a complete collection. Unfortunately, it was damaged by a water leak in the deposits years ago and very few copies have survived. I honestly don’t like talking about it because it upsets me. On a personal level, Interview also reminds me of Andy’s death, because it makes me think of my last memory of him. I should have seen him after the exhibition organized by Alexandre Jolas in Milan in 1986. Warhol was also expected by a mutual friend, who had the stroke of luck to obtain a copy of the number of Interview magazine dedicated to Aretha Franklin signed by Andy. Along with his signature, Warhol promised my friend a dedication. While we waited for him, my friend told me that he didn’t want to write the dedication to him when he signed his copy of him because he feared that if he did, he would never see him again for years later, as It had happened before. Unfortunately, Andy underwent surgery which ended very badly and left his earthly body, he never made it to that appointment; my last memory of him is a missed date.

    Liza Minnelli, Interview cover (1979)- Andy Warhol. Photo courtesy of the Rosini-Gutman collection

  1. Rare and iconic

    I have several rare items in my Warhol original records collection, including Velvet Underground’s iconic first album, and The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers and Love You live. First editions are very hard to find, and even more valuable when signed. Andy used to work closely with the artists, and the Factory was the perfect place to attract and connect the best talents in New York and in the entire international music scene of his time.

    The iconography of many of these albums, like Sticky Fingers as well as both Velvet Underground and Nico’s albums – the famous banana and the one with the Coca-Cola bottle – reflect the sexual liberation that was going on in that era; the sexual connotation of these albums’ subjects are all very explicit.

    Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) – Andy Warhol. Photo courtesy of the Rosini-Gutman collection

  2. Mick Jagger was one of Andy’ favourite subjects, not only because he had great charisma as the Stone’s front man, but also because the two became friends and met in New York way before Mick Jagger became a star. Jagger visited America when he was just a kid, before he started touring with the Stones. He stayed at a friend of Twiggy’s back then, helping in the house, doing chores and running errands in exchange for her hospitality. So, thanks to Twiggy, this is how and when the two met.

    The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers (1971) – Andy Warhol. Photo courtesy of the Rosini-Gutman collection

  3. Hidden gems

    Andy Warhol was an avant-garde character, and he often collaborated with recording artists who were rather experimental with their music and worked as visual artists too. This is the case for John Cale – with whom he worked very closely – and Walter Steding. I love how Warhol signed John Cale’s The Academy of Peril’s album cover five times; multiple signatures were something that he enjoyed doing. This sleeve concept design is very interesting, because the Kodachrome frames that enclose the shots are cuttings on the front cover that allow you to see the small photographs printed on the inside of the album before you open it.

    John Cale, The Academy of Peril (1972) – Andy Warhol. Photo courtesy of the Rosini-Gutman collection

  4. Walter Steding & The Dragon People’s The Joke is also a rare vinyl, not only because it was not a commercial success and there are very few original copies around, but also because the album, for which Warhol is credited as “executive producer”, is one of the very few records released on Warhol’s own Earthole Production label. Personally, I wasn’t able to trace any other releases!

    Walter Steding & The Dragon People, The Joke (1980)- Andy Warhol. Photo courtesy of the Rosini-Gutman collection

  5. Made In Italy

    The Italian artist Loredana Bertè landed in early eighties New York and met Andy Warhol at a Fiorucci fashion store opening. The two immediately connected, and Warhol welcomed Loredana to the Factory where he introduced her to the photographer Christopher Makos. With him, they worked on Bertè album sleeve Made in Italy. Andy was particularly stoked by her song Movie, for which he filmed a rare video clip directed by Don Munroe in 1981. For this music video, Warhol filmed Loredana Bertè singing in the Factory and overlapped the shooting on a moving background of the New York city lights and buildings, using the chroma key technique.

    Loredana Bertè, Made In Italy (1980)- Andy Warhol. Photo courtesy of the Rosini-Gutman collection