Wednesday marks 25 years since the death of Andy Warhol, arguably the most famous member of the pop art school, and now fans can get a new perspective on his work at a new gallery exhibit in Hell’s Kitchen. NY1’s Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
It's the pop artist minus the pop. Andy Warhol may have created some of the most famous and colorful images in art history, from Marilyn Monroe to Elvis and even Campbell Soup cans, but a new exhibition at the Affirmation Arts gallery on West 37th Street shows a different side of the artist.
“You're seeing non-pop, non-color—just simple black and white photographs that Andy Warhol took,” says Marla Goldwasser, director of Affirmation Arts.
Warhol was a leader of the pop art movement in the U.S. in the ‘60s, ‘70s and even the ‘80s. He's famous for making the observation that everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. He obviously had more.
But despite his obsession with celebrity status and his own persona, some of these photos show a less guarded artist.
“This is just a picture of him with his arms open facing the camera. He's on roller skates of all things, and he's just out having fun,” says Goldwasser.
More than 50 prints are on view. All of them come from the Andy Warhol Museum in his hometown of Pittsburgh, and none have been shown outside the museum before now. Not only do they give a sense of his skills as a fine art photographer, some also hint at later, more famous pieces.
“That piece with all the repetition you are seeing, the images repeat throughout the whole picture plane, I think is a precursor for a lot of the works that came later, like the repetition of the images he did with celebrities like Marilyn Monroe or of Elvis,” says Goldwasser.
Up on the second floor are some of Warhol's famous screen tests, where he took everyday people and made them into stars.
“It gives the person, an everyday person an opportunity to be in an Andy Warhol film, and I think it gives us, the viewers, a chance to see everyday people just like you or me but see it through the film lens of Andy,” says Goldwasser.
Before reality TV, Warhol really did give people a chance to have their 15 minutes of fame. Of course, his fame and influence have endured much longer.
The exhibit opens March 3. Admission is free.