#FineArtFriday – Andy Warhol, by Lawrence Fried
Award-winning photojournalist Lawrence Fried (1926-1983) was widely published in numerous publications during his lifetime. The New York City native worked with luminaries and the emerging stars of the day including Louis Armstrong, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Marlon Brando and Paul Newman. He was also a favorite photographer of the Kennedy’s, working with then Senator John F. Kennedy during the promotion of his book Profiles in Courage, on the campaign trail with Robert and Edward (Ted) Kennedy, and Jacqueline Kennedy.
On occasion, Fried was also called upon to take photos of notable visual artists who were being profiled in newspapers or magazines. In 1965, Fried went to photography Andy Warhol. But the story – and accompanying images – were never published.
Fried was asked by The Saturday Evening Post to photograph Andy Warhol. Warhol was at the top of the art world, having major solo and group shows that launched the artist and some of his most famous works, including The Campbell Soup Can series and celebrity portraits including Marilyn Monroe. Warhol also established The Factory, his studio which also doubled as the place where friends, rockstars and “superstars” would gather.
Fried spent several days with Warhol at The Factory in New York City and photographed Warhol and his assistants Billy Name and Philip Fagan creating the silk screens for some of Warhol’s works, including Elizabeth Taylor, Flowers and Suicide. It was here where Fried took "collaborative portraits" of Warhol with Warhol pressing the shutter-release button of the camera, some with Warhol eating a banana. The banana would be a symbol Warhol would use throughout his career, most famously for the album sleeve of the debut record from The Velvet Underground, a band Warhol ‘produced.’
Warhol also took Fried along with curator Henry Geldzahler on a field trip to Bell Labs in New Jersey where they met with the famous engineer, Bill Kluver, who created Warhol's mylar pillows. The Silver Clouds, as they were called, were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1966 and caused a sensation.
The Lawrence Fried Archive is unsure why the story and photographs never ran. Fried’s daughters, Patricia and Lauren, uncovered the contact sheets amongst their father’s archive in 2015, exactly 50 years after their father took these extraordinary images of Warhol at work.
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