Life & Culture

In Pictures: Andy Warhol and His Factory

Gagosian gallery’s exhibit at Paris Photo gives us an inside look at life at the Factory

When Andy Warhol launched The Factory in 1962, he created the ultimate New York experience: the quintessential artist pad where he cooked up art, film, books, magazines, and happenings, attracting some of the most fascinating characters of the era.

When asked, “Why do such precocious people hang out with you?” Warhol replied, “I never thought they were hanging out with me; I always thought I was hanging out with them.”

Whatever the case may be, Gagosian gallery understands the allure, and curated an exquisite selection of photographs and mixed-media works at Paris Photo this weekend, including the fair’s most expensive work: Richard Avedon’s Andy Warhol and Members of the Factory, 30 October 1969, which hung on a foil-covered wall.

Avedon’s iconic image, remade countless times, presented the Factory as a collective, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, quite literally underscored by the use of three silver gelatin photographs to set the scene. It is the perfect reminder that Warhol’s genius was a product of collaboration between himself and artists from all walks of life – from the Velvet Underground to Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Also featured are works by Brigid Berlin, Nat Finkelstein, Michael Halsband, Peter Lindbergh, Robert Mapplethorpe, Duane Michals, and Warhol himself, among others, which gives us an inside look at life at the Factory.

Or looking in, as the case may be in David McCabe’s 1964 photograph Andy Warhol in the Bathroom at The Factory, New York. McCabe gives us fisheye look at Warhol fully dressed, seated on the toilet with his arms and legs crossed, not the least bit bothered by the presence of a camera. Donning dark sunglasses, Warhol gazes off into a future that he and his curious coterie helped to portend.  

Andy Warhol–From A to B and Back Again, the first major US retrospective in three decades, opens November 12 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.