Designer Ben Kelly, chair of interior and spatial design at University of the Arts London, chose this photograph (above) of Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory for his exhibition 111 Inspirational Interiors.
Kelly curated the show – at Windows Gallery 1 at Central Saint Martins in Kings Cross, North London – after inviting 111 creatives to each select an image of an interior which is important to them.
Warhol’s fifth floor studio at 231 E.47th Street in New York from 1962 to 1968 was designed by photographer/archivist/acolyte Billy Name in the style of his own apartment, with silver paint, tin foil and fractured mirrors.
“Why he loved silver so much I don’t know. It must have been an amphetamine thing – everything always went back to that,” Warhol says of the speedfreak Name in his 60s book Popism.
“Silver was the future, it was spacy – the astronauts wore silver suits… And silver was also the past, the Silver Screen – Hollywood actresses photographed in silver sets. And maybe more than anything, silver was narcissism – mirrors were backed with silver.”
Kelly first saw Naar’s image of the artist in the Silver Factory in a 60s colour supplement magazine.”I had never seen an interior like this before; it became an inspiration to me,” he adds. “It was new, it was radical, it was silver and it was POP.”