What Was It Like To Work With Andy Warhol?
At the age of 17, Stephen Shore was not quite yet the legendary photographer he was destined to be. Granted, three years prior, his photographic forebear Edward Steichen had already purchased three of his works for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. But it was to be a while until Shore hit some of his other career milestones, such as being the first living photographer to exhibit their work in a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (which came in 1971), or releasing the groundbreaking book Uncommon Places – a visual diary of the contemporary American roadside which went on to inspire a generation of photographers (that came in 1982). Still, way before all that happened, the man clearly had something about him, a fact demonstrated best by the fact that he found himself hanging out at Andy Warhol’s studio-cum-social-club The Factory in the mid 1960s.
Shore first met Warhol at an underground film screening in 1965. A month after that, he began to work with Warhol when the artist asked if he could come and take pictures of a video shoot at L’Avventura restaurant. From then on, Shore documented the pop artist’s notorious workspace, in which Warhol’s minions would mass-produce his screen-printed artworks and his “Superstars” would film screen tests, party hard, then crash out on the red sofa. The resulting images, collected in new Phaidon book Factory: Andy Warhol by Stephen Shore, offer a fly-on-the-wall portrait of life and work at The Factory between 1965 and 1967, as well as a crucial insight into Shore’s development as a photographer, under the wing of one of art’s most celebrated iconoclasts.
In the book, alongside shots of icons such as Edie Sedgewick (who’s captured using the Factory’s pay phone) and Lou Reed (who’s pictured as part of The Velvet Underground, using The Factory as a rehearsal space, contemporary commentators from John Cale to Billy Name (the man who originally decorated The Factory in silver tin foil) share their memories of this incredibly exciting time in pop culture. Plus, there are lots of shots of Andy Warhol looking rather fantastic in a Breton top – a look that, on reflection, we think we’ll be revisiting sharpish.