A rare exhibition of Andy Warhols photographic portraits is being held at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center
. Sessions with Andy: Warhol Photography from the University of South Carolina Upstate opened in the Kimbrough Gallery on March 6th.
Andy Warhol is best known for his Pop Art paintings of Campbells Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe. While the iconic celebrity paintings began with appropriated media photographs that were silk-screened onto a canvas, the commissioned works began with a Polaroid photo-session with Warhol. The museum exhibition contains some of these serial photographs and presents the viewer several photographs exhibiting only minor changes from one image to the next. They are hung in the gallery to imitate the repetition often seen in Warhols celebrity portraits.
In an attempt to make his work mechanical, Warhol had turned to the Polaroid camera and tape recorder to more objectively document American life as he saw it. The images in this exhibition are documents of his movie sets, parties, and events at the Factory (as he called his studio). The photos for the exhibition are on loan from the University of South Carolina Upstate and the exhibition is sponsored in part by the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. Sessions was co-curated with Paul Collins and Dr. Tony Morris.
In conjunction with the show, the Customs House hosts an exhibit of portraits of Andy by Raeanne Rubenstein. Ms. Rubenstein will also lead a lecture on working with Warhol on April 8th. Rubenstein made her name in New York City shooting celebrities such as John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, The Beatles, and Andy Warhol, with whom she became friends. She went on to work for Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, People, Time, Life, CBS and HBO; as well as publishing several books of her work.