Andy Warhol’s The Factory: Warhol & His Circle

This month, Proud Chelsea is presenting a photography exhibition by David McCabe, that gives us an insider view into Andy Warhol’s The Factory in all its gory glory.

Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall so you could go back in time and visit Andy Warhol’s The Factory in its heyday? To witness the outrageous parties and Warhol and his cohort’s creative outpouring unfolding before your eyes.

 


Recommended view in fullscreen.

 

Andy Warhol and his unique institution have gained mythical status since its demise and begot thousands of imitators the world over. Back in 1964 a young photographer, David McCabe, became that fly when he was commissioned by Warhol himself to document his activities for a full year. What he witnessed was a wild world inhabited by unique, eccentric and sometimes extreme characters such as Edie Sedgwick and the hoards of other hangers-on who populated The Factory complex. Some of the greats of twentieth century culture who graced The Factory are also present in this intriguing set of photographs. Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali and Roy Lichtenstein chew that fat with Andy and his inner circle.

This was a world where everything turned into art: Commerce, celebrity, music, outrage pulsed along the conveyor belt and was turned as if by magic into art. As John Cale a member of the Velvet Underground (a band co-created and promoted by Warhol) witnessed for himself, “It wasn’t called the Factory for nothing. It was where the assembly line for the silkscreens happened. While one person was making a silkscreen, somebody else would be filming a screen test. Every day something new.”

The increasingly famous and image conscious Warhol grew wary of letting the public in on his world. Though he commissioned McCabe to document his world he became reluctant as hindsight set in. As a result, this set of photos has been hidden away from almost 40 years and are now being exhibited for the first time in the UK.

Proud Chelsea presents ‘The Factory: Warhol & His Circle’ until 4 December. More details at www.proud.co.uk

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