Andy's Factory, Photographed From Within | American Photo

Andy's Factory, Photographed From Within

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore's shot of Warhol "Superstar" Edie Sedgwick using the only phone in The Factory, New York City, circa 1965-1967. Sedgwick, who died at age 28 of an overdose, is believed to be the subject of Bob Dylan songs including "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Just Like a Woman." The show "From the Factory to the World" is on view through July 22 in Madrid.

© Stephen Shore / Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Fashion and celebrity photographer Cecil Beaton photographed Andy Warhol with Factory members in1969. While some Warhol disciples went on to make their own names, many others enjoyed only the proverbial "15 minutes of fame."

© Cecil Beaton, Courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, Cecil Beaton Studio Archive

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Andy Warhol's companion Christopher Makos shot this crowd scene In Detroit on a Warhol book tour in 1985. After the Factory moved and Warhol turned his attention to side projects such as Interview magazine, the artist became even more of an international icon.

© Christopher Makos / Courtesy Makos Photo Archive

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore's portrait of Edie Sedgwick and Ingrid Superstar, 1965-1967. Both women were fixtures in Andy Warhol's Factory and later died mysteriously. Sedgwick suffered a fatal barbiturate overdose in 1971 that was ruled as "undetermined/accident/suicide." Superstar disappeared in 1987, and though presumed dead, has never been found.

© Stephen Shore / Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore's reflective shot of singer and actress Nico at Warhol's Factory, circa 1965-1967. It was Warhol's idea to pair Nico with the Velvet Underground on the group's debut album; she later recorded as a solo artist. Nico died in 1988 after a bicycle accident.

© Stephen Shore / Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Sometime in 1965-1967, Velvet Underground cofounder John Cale plays guitar in front of Andy Warhol's famous "Double Elvis" image, which recently sold for $37 million. Cale left the VU in 1968 and has since worked as a producer, arranger and solo artist. 

© Stephen Shore / Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Andy Warhol with "Silver Clouds" in the Factory, circa 1965-1967. The clouds were designed by photographer Billy Name, who had decorated his apartment in a similar manner; the Factory's Silver Era was known for decadence, freewheeling creativity, and Warhol's generous backing of its members.

© Stephen Shore / Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

Christopher Makos captured "Andy shooting Me, and You Too" in 1986. A longtime friend and collaborator of Andy Warhol's, Makos traveled with the artist until Warhol's death the following year.

© Christopher Makos / Courtesy Makos Photo Archive

Andy Warhol's Factory/Stephen Shore

With cassette recorder in tow, circa 1969-70, Andy Warhol wears a pensive "what's next" expression in a Polaroid snapshot by his longtime close friend Brigid Berlin, whose behind-the-scenes shots of the Factory are scattered throughout the exhibition.

© Brigid Berlin, courtesy Vincent Fremont Enterprises, Inc., New York

What does it take to be world famous? Andy Warhol spent a lifetime working that one out, and he succeeded beyond even his wildest dreams. Much of the madness behind his methods can be seen in a fascinating photo exhibit, "From the Factory to the World: Photography and the Warhol Community," at the Teatro Fernán Gómez Centro de Arte in Madrid, Spain, through July 22.

The Warhol exhibition is the lynchpin of this year's PHotoEspaña (PHE) festival, which opened last week and runs in more than 70 exhibitions throughout Madrid. Now in its 15th year, the festival again has a broad theme, "From Here: Context and Internationalization," designed for creative mash-ups of styles, subjects and media. It's a resolutely global event: Offerings range from young surrealist photographers in "Asia Serendipity" (companion to the Warhol show) to South American up-and-coming artists in "Tropical Schizophrenia."

But the vast Warhol exhibition sets the tone. "Warhol's Factory epitomizes our program this year, because while it was a rather parochial community, it was such a creative hotbed that it truly had a global reach," explains Gerardo Mosquera, PHE's artistic director, at the show's opening on June 5. "Andy lived in his own world, but he was shooting for the stars."

© Brigid Berlin, courtesy Vincent Fremont Enterprises, Inc., New York

And nurturing them. In the 1960s, Warhol's studio in midtown Manhattan attracted not only hipsters and hangers-on but also renowned photographers like Richard Avedon, Nat Finkelstein and Cecil Beaton, all prominently featured in the show. "We tried to bring all the different viewpoints together," says curator Catherine Zuromskis, a photo professor at the University of New Mexico. "Finkelstein's images are more critical, and Stephen Shore's are more celebratory. But they all reflect this crazy scene of creativity."

Ranging from Polaroid snapshots to large-scale prints, these images are focused resolutely on the Factory; you'll see no soup cans or day-glow Marilyns here. Most revealing are candid shots by lesser-known Factory acolytes such as Billy Name and Brigid Berlin, Warhol's libertine friend who always seems to appear in some state of undress. Stephen Shore, later known for his New Topographics landscape work, contributes down-to-earth portraits of the Velvet Underground's Lou Reed and John Cale (both wearing sunglasses indoors, of course), of singer Nico in mid-song, and of ingenue Edie Sedgwick looking both charming and fragile.

The show includes a panoply of photographs by the snap-happy Warhol, whose fascination with erotica and the breakdown of social mores gave way to an outward-looking focus on street scenes and celebrities after he survived the notorious attempt on his life in 1968. That year, the Factory itself moved uptown and "scene" started to increasingly resemble a corporate empire. Warhol's later years were documented on film by Jonas Mekas (included in the show) and in photographs by his companion Christopher Makos, who depicts Andy everywhere from Studio 54 to the Great Wall of China, usually with unruly spiked hair and that enigmatic half-smile.

Across town at Filmoteca Española, you can see Warhol's own bizarre films and screen tests of the actors who flocked to his 8mm camera—60s characters like Ultra Violet, Candy Darling, Rotten Rita and Penny Arcade, self-mythologists who evinced Warhol's observation that "in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

Warhol (who died in 1987) made that prescient comment in 1968 when the Internet was, at best, a vague concept. In its far-ranging exhibitions, this year's PHotoEspaña celebrates the global reach of photography in our digital age. But it was the analog adventures of Warhol and his Factory denizens that showed the way forward.

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