Project Management and Curator
Richard Young Gallery
Warholesque?, was an exhibition that invited seven contemporary artists to intervene and respond to unseen photographs of Andy Warhol at his inaugural London exhibition in 1978 taken by Richard Young.
Andy Warhol’s art is inseparable from photography. His photographs captured the faces of the rich and famous – musicians, actors, artists, fashion models – from the New York disco scene to London’s café society. Warhol was rarely seen without a camera – it acted as a combination of sketchbook and diary. He obsessively documented the world around him using audiocassette tape, videotape, and of course camera (or multiple cameras), often saving the minutiae of everyday life in his infamous time capsules. ‘A picture means I know where I was every minute. That’s why I take pictures – it’s a visual diary’.
Through his paintings, films, Interview magazine, and as a promoter of numerous people in his circle, Warhol created a superstar machine for accelerating fame and stardom. Richard Young is similarly attached to his camera with a portfolio of iconic and defining images that document popular culture. Over the last 30 years Young has photographed the canon of contemporary society, without the use of makeup artists, special lighting or trick photography, people from Elizabeth Taylor to Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson to Madonna and of course Andy Warhol himself. Richard Young’s photos of Warhol in 1978 are fascinating today, in as much as they highlight the implicit tension between truth and fiction, reality and invention that is at the core of the celebrity photo. As Warhol once said when asked about his canny portrait technique “who wants the truth?”
In this exhibition, Young’s photographs, and indeed Andy Warhol are re-interpreted by contemporary artists – Sir Peter Blake, Steve Bishop, Tom Gallant, Kay Harwood, Daniel Pasteiner, Jamie Shovlin, Gavin Turk and Jessica Voorsanger.
A ‘London in the 70′s’ screening of BFI archive footage was shown in connection to the exhibition at the BFI where Richard Young was in conversation with Nicky Haslam.