Andy Warhol's Factory Gang

Art exhibit at the Quin - a hotel in New York City

Andy Warhol's Factory Gang

Famed for his quirky print reproductions of pop culture icons (such as Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s soup cans), Andy Warhol was arguably the most influential American pop artist in New York during the 1960s and 70s.  Warhol garnered fame for his ubiquitous and timely art works, but also (and perhaps more sensationally) for his lavishly bohemian lifestyle and eccentric personality.  Warhol’s look – silver-haired, fashionable, and lithe – was nearly as recognizable as his work.  His studio, famously known as The Factory, was located in three different buildings in Midtown and Union Square, from the early sixties to the mid-eighties.  It was here that Warhol produced his famous lithographs and silkscreens, but this workspace doubled as a hangout spot for Warhol’s exclusive soirees and art gatherings – events that have their own special place in New York City’s cultural heritage.

Decorated by photographer Billy Name in wall-to-wall silver paint, foil, and mirrors, Warhol’s Factory brought together a carefully curated cohort of celebrities, young artists, budding musicians, drag queens, models and other unconventional socialites.  Factory parties were high-profile affairs; close friends of Warhol would rub elbows with notable personalities such as Lou Reed from the Velvet Underground, model muse Edie Sedgwick, visionary designer Betsey Johnson, and the one and only Bob Dylan.  With such a whirlwind of creative talent always within its walls, The Factory became a fertile site for collaboration between artists in visual art, performance, and film.

The Factory also served as a film studio, where Warhol produced nearly five hundred of his simple yet profound Screen Tests, in which the artist “only wanted to find great people and let them be themselves.”  In these unbroken black and white shots, the faces of Warhol’s Factory Gang are forever preserved in their eccentric glory.

Warhol’s filmic curiosities, legendary lithographs, and glitterati parties comprise an undeniably fascinating slice of New York City history.  You can get a glimpse of Andy and his painfully hip Factory Gang in our rotating lobby display.

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