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22.11.2016

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“By the end of my stay at the Factory, I found that just my contact with, and observation of, Andy led me to think differently about my function as an artist. I became more aware of what I was doing.” This summarises Stephen Shore’s (*1947) impressions looking back at the time he spent at Andy Warhol‘s legendary loft-atelier.

Shore was just eighteen years old at the time, looking for artistic inspiration and discovering the Factory, a meeting point for a colourful group of artists, musicians, actors, authors, profilers and day-dreamers. From 1965 to 1967, Shore spent practically every day there, photographing visitors and patrons, and even sometimes Andy Warhol himself. The selection Shore has now made for this book reveals an enigmatic place, always from the perspective of an insider. Even more, the images offer an intimate and direct impression of a unique and lively meeting point of New York’s cultural scene at the time. The simplicity of Shore’s pictures demystifies the place, drawing the viewer’s eye to the people themselves, before fame distanced them from the normal world or they were outshone by Warhol’s neon-pop-art.

At that time, Shore had already taken his first steps into the New York world of photography, because, already as a fourteen year-old, he had very self-confidently got in touch with Edward Steichen who was in charge of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art back then. Impressed by so much chutzpa, Steichen even purchased three prints from Shore for the museum. The contact with Andy Warhol gave his artistic work new direction. “I saw Andy making aesthetic decisions,” he recalls in the introduction to his new book, underlining the importance for his own artistic development. “It wasn’t anything he ever said to me. I saw these decisions happening over and over again. It awakened my sense of aesthetic thought.”

Shore was to gain international recognition due mainly to his colour photography, which he began in 1971. His first exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York the same year made history, because it was the first time the museum had put on an exhibition for a living photographer. From then on, he established his career worldwide, and became known above all as an important representative of New Color Photography; with numerous exhibitions and photo books he also became one of the most influential figures in the history of photography in the USA. This makes the black and white discoveries from his earlier days, presented in this large-format photo book and accompanied by numerous texts by those being portrayed, all the more exciting. Ulrich Rüter

Stephen Shore
Factory: Andy Warhol
192 pages, 175 b/w Ill.
35,4 x 36,0 cm, English
Warhol on fire escape of the Factory
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