Last night, the Reel 360 team had the feeling of being whisked back to New York in the 1970s and early 1980s as we took in the groundbreaking and exciting new time machine, Andy Warhol: Photo Factory.
NeueHouse, which prides itself on being a work, social space and incubator for creatives and innovators presented the show of ultra-rare and comprehensive photographs by Warhol.
Curated and produced with international photography museum Fotografiska, Hedges Projects, and Jack Shainman Gallery, this is an incredibly comprehensive survey of Warhol’s photographic oeuvre as many of these photos were kept in Warhol’s private collection.
Upon entering the space, while listening to disco songs from the 70s such as Odyssey’s Native New Yorker and Chic’s Dance, Dance, Dance, the production features over 120 images – 20 of which have never been seen before – paying homage to Warhol’s iconic New York City studio and offering a distinctly intimate visual diary of the artist’s life and work.
“This exhibition was created to underscore who Warhol was as a person, an artist, and an experimenter through his photography, and to delve into the stories and subjects behind the surface of his iconic images – beyond those instant moments,” says Fotografiska Exhibitions Manager Grace Noh said.
All six categories of Warhol’s film-based work are spectacularly presented, including his famous Polaroids of celebrities, artists and friends such as Debbie Harry, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dolly Parton, Grace Jones, and Keith Haring.
You will also experience lesser-seen unique gelatin silver prints in which Warhol photographed his creative process, friends, and surroundings, including hotel lobbies, room service trays, and other inanimate objects that painstakingly documented his social environs.
There is so much else to take in as well including Polaroid collages created for publications such as Vogue Paris and Mondo Uomo; 16mm film Screen Tests from the mid-1960s; photo booth strips taken in Times Square in the 60s; and his most recent stitched photographs series, his final body of work exhibited before his death in 1987.
“I began collecting these photographs after learning about the camera’s seminal influence within Warhol’s body of work. This exhibition provides a scintillating introspective, especially as I consider these lesser-known stitched photos as an extension of Warhol’s raw self, one that the public has scarcely seen. Virtually every painting, print, and most works on paper began their life as a photo study. The fact is, Warhol used a camera as part of his daily social interactions over the course of four decades, it was integral to his interactions and his art-making process,” founder of Hedges Projects, James R. Hedges, IV says.
Worth noting are Warhol’s earliest photographic works, which offer an uncanny glimpse into his experimentation with the medium and how it served as a catalyst for his early silkscreen paintings, commissioned portraits, and commercial work.
A key highlight of the exhibition is the collection of stitched photographs, in which Warhol physically sewed together prints in consecutive grids of 4, 6 and 12 images, incorporating his characteristic use of repetition. Warhol’s final exhibition at Robert Miller Gallery in 1987 featured 90 of his stitched photos, 10 of which will be on view at NeueHouse.
Additionally, four films (Archie and George with Coca Cola, Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick and Kipp Stagg, and Freddy Last Dance) will be shown throughout the exhibition, stemming from Warhol’s private Screen Tests series.
These insanely cool short, black-and-white film portraits display close-up and intimate shots of subjects from New York’s cultural scene at the time, perfectly underlining Warhol’s fascination with photography and the practice of capturing successive moments in time.
Andy Warhol: Photo Factory is the largest west coast exhibition of Warhol photography to date, with many of the images kept in a private collection until now.
While the mixture of media and the red couches are exciting in and of themselves, DO NOT miss the opportunity to take a piece of the art with you by taking a pic of yourself in the exhibit’s photo booth or having a Polaroid taken by a photographer.
This show follows the success of Andres Serrano’s Infamous and Alison Jackson’s Truth is Dead, which also exhibited at NeueHouse Hollywood in partnership with Fotografiska.
The show opens to the public on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 for a limited 40-day run. Purchase tickets here.