The never before seen portraits of pop icon Andy Warhol laid in a filing cabinet for the last 30 years as the photographer who took them, Steve Wood of UK’s Daily Express, forgot he had them.
The story of the portrait series rediscovery lays in a conversation photographer Steve Wood had with fellow photographer David Munns in London.
Steve recounts “We got talking and David refused to believe I had ever met the man! So I began the search through my 35mm slides marked ‘W’, and the images were rediscovered, right next to Dennis Waterman.”
The portraits themselves were taken at a hotel in the French village of Deauville in 1981.
In a conservation about the experience of shooting the artist Andy Warhol, Wood explains “The shoot was easy, it was very instinctive. Andy was very straightforward to work with. He trusted me to direct him as I wanted – to show him at his best. There was a great chemistry between us.”
The portrait series of Andy Warhol came about through the mutual friendship of the Daily Express photographer and his famous subject to the well known New York restauranteur Elaine Kaufmann, owner of the New York establishment bearing her name. ‘Elaine’s Restaurant’ is a regular haven for Manhattan socialites, celebrities, artists and writers.
The portrait series shows Andy Warhol posing against a giant sunflower. Using natural light, Steve Wood was able to capture the iconically shy Warhol facing the camera lens with a unflinching gaze. The photographs are a series of 35mm negatives.
On why the negatives laid gathering dust for the last three decades in a filing cabinet, Steve says “On my return from Deauville I came back with so many celebrity pictures that I just chose the ones to be published in the newspapers and forgot the rest.”
As an artist Andy Warhol established himself as a pop icon with his portraits of Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe with banana-yellow hair, and Queen Elizabeth bathed in psychedelic colors – just two of his the world-famous portraits.
The new art exhibit, Lost Then Found, is being arranged by Interview magazine, the glossy publication founded by Warhol in 1969.
Interview magazine Editor-in-Chief Christopher Bollen talked about the new exhibit “The fascination of these found photographs lies in the fact that just when you think all sides of Andy Warhol have been seen and mined, a rare intimate window opens on the legend.”
“These photographs reveal a different Warhol than most of us have ever witnessed. It’s a testament to the photographer and an opportunity to re-assess his bearing as one of the most influential artists of the last century.”
Lost Then Found opens at a gallery, 345 Meatpacking Venue, in New York City open to the public from May 2 – 12. A pop-up exhibit will take place in London at the South Place Hotel from May 10 – 12.
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