Lost and Found? New Andy Warhol portraits discovered. Where are we now…..?

May 6th 2013

Andy Warhol Lost and Found 2

A collection of never-before-seen portraits of Andy Warhol, taken by British photographer Steve Wood in 1981, opened recently at the new 345meatpacking building in New York City. The exhibition is called ‘Lost Then Found’ and the images were taken over the course of two hours and capture the pop artist in various un-Warhol-like poses. Wood told the BBC “The shoot was easy, it was very instinctive” and “Andy was very straightforward to work with. He trusted me to direct him as I wanted – to show him at his best. There was a great chemistry between us.” Wood explained that the 35mm slides had since languished in his filing cabinet “gathering dust” for more than three decades, hence the ‘Lost Then Found’ title of the exhibition.

Andy Warhol fused music and art to help give rise to one of the most important and influential bands of the 1960′s, The Velvet Underground. Creativity needs the freedom to naturally develop in an equally creative environment, ‘the chemistry’. Andy helped create that by managing the group and allowing them to become the house band at his studio, the Factory, and his Exploding Plastic Inevitable events. What has this got to with The Lost Then Found exhibition you ask? Well, music rises through all forms of art and when reading about the lost and found exhibition and these previously unseen images (that the British photographer Steve Wood thought were worthless!?) it posed many questions about what Andy Warhol stood for, represented and particularly where we stand in today’s society in terms of creativity, art and music.

Where Are We Now? Has music lost it’s creative edge and can it be found again?

The genius of Andy Warhol and the way he fused both music and art in supporting the creative need to live and breathe in the right environment can bring us many lessons for the creative economy of music today. In the 1960′s art schools were independent, whereas now they have University status and therefore have become more institutionalised. A lot of the great musicians in the past 30 years have come from from the art school environment. Should we be looking at freeing up the art schools again and providing interesting spaces where the creative and intellectual curiosity can experiment freely to inspire new thoughts and visions? In the past, this has provided a rich soil for both British and American culture and future economies of depth and longevity such as artists like David Bowie and REM who have both quoted Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground as a major influence on their careers. Has music lost it’s creative edge in the West? With the domination of TV programmes such as X Factor, it could be said that Simon Cowell has been a spearhead for dumming down the nation in music, talent, education and spirit? Can we put a price on the damage already done? What do we creatively aspire too? Is that lost and can it be found ?

The Velvet Underground (with Andy Warhol and Nico)

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Andy Warhol designed The Velvet Underground’s first album cover – which incorporated the banana symbol and the phrase “peel slowly and see”. On early editions of the album, the banana skin was a sticker which could be removed to display the flesh underneath.

The Velvet Underground’s first album cover

The_Velvet_Underground_Nico

In the words of David Bowie: “Andy Warhol looks a scream. Hang him on my wall.” “Andy Warhol” is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory

Andy Warhol Lost and Found

The previously unseen images will be on display at 345meatpacking in New York in the “Lost Then Found” May 3 through May 12.

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