Modeling career

Photographer Christopher Makos talks about Andy Warhol’s modeling career

Christopher Makos understands better than anyone why Andy Warhol never seems to go out of style.

The New York-based photographer has become part of the city art scene in the late 70s and Warhol was a friend and colleague. Makos also photographed a series of portraits during Warhol’s modeling career in the early 80s.

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Warhol’s career and life continue to intrigue people around the world more than 35 years after his death from cardiac arrest following gallbladder surgery. Makos’ latest book, “Andy Modeling Portfolio Makos”, coincides with the release of the netflix “The Diaries of Andy Warhol” series. Current interest in the artist has been further sparked by the Brooklyn Museum’s “Andy Warhol: Revelation,” which is on view until June 22. And Christie’s has set an asking price of around $200 million for Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn.” If the sale reaches or exceeds that mark at next month’s Marquee Week sales, it would become the most expensive 20th-century work of art to be sold at auction.

According to Makos, Warhol’s enduring power is “because unlike any other artist, Andy associated his career with the American brand. When you’re an American brand – Campbell’s soup cans, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and all that kind of stuff – you have an integrated, inherent brand that everyone knows. Almost everyone knows the Warhol brand because he relied “on the American ‘things’,” Makos said.

Having done a lot on Warhol in some of his other 15 or more books, Makos thought he was done with this topic. After the team behind the film produced by Ryan Murphy, directed by Andrew Rossi netflix The docuseries arrived, Makos realized that it was an opportunity to publish a book on Warhol around the same time. Just as the Netflix series expands the opening on Warhol’s love life and more, Makos decided to dig up Warhol’s modeling in his new book. Many do not know that the artist did this and was represented by Zoli and Ford Models. Makos has viewed the docuseries, allowed some of his photographs to be used, and he appears in every episode.

Andy Warhol loved being in front of the camera, according to Makos.  - Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Makos

Andy Warhol loved being in front of the camera, according to Makos. – Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Makos

Courtesy of Christopher Makos

Warhol’s painting and art career was so strong that “it took all the oxygen out of everything else. People should remember that he was an author, painter and filmmaker. He had a magazine [Interview]. ‘The Factory’ really applies to what he did because there were all these different things going on in his life,” Makos said.

When Makos first encountered Warhol at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1969, he was surprised he was still alive. Valerie Solanas had shot Warhol in her office the year before. Transplanted to Southern California, Makos accepted an invitation to spend time in Max’s Kansas City with Warhol and his friends. “This nightlife world didn’t work for me and I had my first show at 492 Broadway which was called ‘Step On It.’ All of my photographs were on the floor covered in plexiglass to manipulate the viewer into looking at the floor and not the walls. I thought that was perfect for Andy, but he couldn’t come,” he said. declared.

Warhol sent Bob Colacello, who loved the concept idea, according to Makos. This led to a visit to The Factory, where Makos met Warhol on “his terms, not like I was going to hang around and be a fan… I don’t mean I didn’t like his work. We have become friends. As I point out to people, Andy was my friend. They always say, ‘Oh, you were Andy’s friend.’ Granted, whoever was friends with Warhol, we all relate to that – Vincent Fremont, Bob Colacello… But we all have our own dedicated lives and careers. Obviously Andy has cast a long shadow, but we know our own personalities and strengths, so we can step out of that shadow when we need to,” said Makos, who planned to discuss his new book during a paid event for 150 people. at the Strand on Thursday.

In late 1978 Warhol asked Makos to be the art director for his book “Exposures” and in 1981 they produced “Altered Images” with Makos doing 349 poses of Warhol in drag. The images were inspired by Man Ray’s 1921 photos of Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego “Rrose Sélavy”. As Warhol’s art and brand became increasingly popular to promote clothing, airlines, vodka and more, he was asked to appear in advertisements, so a modeling portfolio was needed. . Warhol asked Makos to take his “model portraits”, which were done in six sittings.

The two photographers were friends.  - Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Makos

The two photographers were friends. – Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Makos

Courtesy of Christopher Makos

A prankster, who loved to laugh a lot, Warhol liked to go up against each other to joke. “He liked to stir the pot and make things fun,” Makos said.

Warhol also loved being on camera even though he didn’t know what to do with his hands, Makos said. “In all the photos, he is so clumsy. I thought this awkwardness was just lovely.

Christopher Makos photographed Andy Warhol for a model portrait portfolio.  - Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Makos

Christopher Makos photographed Andy Warhol for a model portrait portfolio. – Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Makos

Courtesy of Christopher Makos

In the early 1980s, Warhol felt underappreciated in many ways, according to Makos. Given this, he surmised how much Warhol would love the current interest in his work and life. “He would especially like the digital age and its immediacy. He used to say that he would have liked to be a photographer because photography seemed so much more instantaneous than painting. Painting took longer.

Inspiration for Warhol came from everything he saw around him. “An interesting artist is always inspired by the world around him. That’s why artists keep their eyes wide open. He was that kind of person and that’s why we got along so well. We were both open to seeing everything around us.

When Warhol was looking for something new for a 57th Street exhibit, Makos suggested he sew some of his pictures. Makos, born in Massachusetts, had first tried the technique as a child with scraps of paper and his Italian mother’s Necchi sewing machine. “An American Family” actress Michelle Loud served as the seamstress for Warhol’s “stitched photos,” said Makos, who will show many of the stitched photographs in his upcoming shows in New York and Los Angeles. (Makos has been credited with developing the technique in exhibitions such as Fotografiska’s “Andy Warhol Photo Factory,” which closed in New York in late February.)

“Just as I was his mentor in taking photography, it was my idea. I thought, ‘Give it to him.’ He was famous for several things. It was just the perfect thing for him to take four things and sew them together. It was just in her wheelhouse.

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