Fotografiska will be the first to exhibit Lady Warhol by Christopher Makos. Eight wigs, two days work, sixteen contact sheets, and fifty photographs comprise this unique series of portraits that depict Andy Warhol’s transformation to his alter ego Lady Warhol. Makos’ series at Fotografiska marks the first time the photographs have been shown together as a solo exhibition.
The Lady Warhol project is the result of two friends’ intense collaboration over a 48-hour period in 1981. Warhol was the model and Makos the photographer. Christopher Makos, during this time, was inspired by Dadaism and Man Ray’s series of photographs of Marcel Duchamp wearing a dress under the name Rrose Sélavy.
Lady Warhol is Makos’ interpretation of Man Ray’s collaboration with Duchamp. While Man Ray’s images were a play on, Duchamp’s character, Sélavy’s mysterious persona, Makos, in his depiction, sought to instead exaggerate Warhol’s pale fragility. Fifty of the three-hundred forty nine portraits make up the core of the series that portrays a pallid Warhol in a shirt and tie against a white wall. Via wigs, hard make-up, and poses, we witness how Warhol transforms himself into his alter ego Lady Warhol.
”Andy and I were relaxed enough to let his grace and his awkwardness show. I see in these images openness and vulnerability and Andy’s need to express himself. These were parts of Andy that he rarely exposed in public, but I remember them well.” –Christopher Makos
Christopher Makos was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, grew up in California, and moved to New York after high school. He studied architecture in Paris and briefly worked as an apprentice to Man Ray. Andy Warhol, Makos’ good friend and frequent portrait subject, called Makos “the most modern photographer in America.” They traveled together extensively and completed several projects together. For example, Makos was the art director for Warhol’s first book entitled Exposures.
Christopher Makos’ photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Tate Modern in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the IVAM in Valencia (Spain) and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. His pictures have appeared in magazines and newspapers, including Paris Match andThe Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several important books, like the volumes Warhol/Makos In Context (2007), AndyWarhol China 1982 (2007) and Christopher Makos Polaroids (2009).
Lady Warhol is an exhibition organised by La Fábrica in Madrid.