At least two people seem to have begun work on this paint-by-number still life — one diligent hand that carefully filled in the contours, and one that hastily scribbled outside the lines. Does Andy Warhol playfully imply that the viewer could join in to finish the work? The paint-by-number kits that proliferated in the 1960s held great appeal for Warhol. His intention to downplay artistic genius and instead create popular, reproducible images is reflected in the source: one of the then-popular Venus Paradise color-by-number kits. Using a projector to transfer the outlines onto canvas, he created this and four other “Do It Yourself” paintings. In all but one, he left large sections uncolored.
Do It Yourself (Violin) (1962) was photographed in the Met Breuer as part of the Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible Exhibit. The painting is owned by a private collector.