Pop art fans, rejoice! The Andy Warhol Foundation will release tens of thousands of the artist’s previously unseen photographs for the first time, including intimate images of the artist’s celebrity friends and lovers.
In total, 3,600 contact sheets featuring more than 130,000 images were acquired by Stanford University, which will digitize and release the images online as part of a new initiative called the Contact Warhol Project. Most have never been publicly shown, based on the markings on the contact sheets. Warhol only printed about 17 percent of the shots he took, the university said.
Taken between 1976 and his death in 1987, the photos offer a glimpse into the Pop artist’s private life and the cast of characters that made up New York’s infamous downtown scene in the 1980s. Writer Truman Capote is shown sprawling on a couch; Jean-Michel Basquiat poses for a portrait; and Debby Harry is seen mingling at a party. Meanwhile, hundreds of snaps document Warhol’s unfolding romance with his last boyfriend, Jon Gould. Other celebrities that make appearances include Michael Jackson, John Lennon, and Liza Minelli.
The pictures showcase Warhol’s obsession with documenting everything around him, from parties with famous friends to street signs. (He once said, “A picture means I know where I was every minute, that’s why I take pictures,” according to the Guardian.)
The Contact Warhol Project is led by Stanford art professors Peggy Phelan and Richard Meyer. Phelan says that a big part of the artist’s genius was how he approached everyday objects.
“His eye is incredible, everything interested him from trash cans, litter, detritus, and room service carts,” she told artnet News. “He took the same care photographing objects that most people would overlook as he would with a photoshoot with Liza Minelli. He had very little border between what’s visually compelling and dog walking signs.” Read more