Who Shot Andy Warhol?

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PHOTO BY NAT FINKELSTEIN

Perhaps the real question should be, “Who didn’t shoot Andy Warhol?” The veritable king of Pop Art was the second most photographed artist of the 20th century (Picasso holds at #1).  Curator and art dealer Eric Firestone will present in his new East Hampton gallery with “Warhol: From Dylan to Duchamp,” an exhibition of photographs paying homage to the icon. There are, of course, images of Edie Sedgwick, The Velvet Underground and Andy presiding over the creative debauchery of his Factory kingdom, captured by the likes of Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and resident Factory photog, the late Nat Finkelstein, just to name a very few. But the ace-in-the-hole is a set of 100 never-before-seen images of Andy shooting his satirical, homoerotic Western film, Lonesome Cowboys (1968), in the Tucson desert.

Discovered almost by accident by the show’s co-curator, photographer and Taschen editor Eric Kroll, the on-set images were taken by Bob Broder who, at the time, was shooting for the Arizona Republic. Only four of the black-and-white photographs went to print and the others–which include a whip-wielding Viva in jodhpurs and fake eyelashes, Eric Emerson wrestling with half nude actors amongst cacti in the desert, and Andy with his eye to the lens, crowned with a cartoonish ten gallon hat–have been collecting dust until now.

“Andy allowed Broder to get right into his face with the camera,” said Firestone when discussing a five part series titled “Eyes of Warhol” (1968), which zooms in tightly on Andy’s expressive peepers. And “Andy on Snack Break” (1968), a photograph of the artist crouched down in thick-heeled shoes, reaching into a bag of Doritos, is almost comically perfect.

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