Inside Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory

“Silver was the future, it was spacy – the astronauts wore silver suits… And maybe more than anything, silver was narcissism"

Warhol poses for photographer Jon Naar on the famous red couch in his studio on E. 47th Street in midtown Manhattan, 1965

Warhol poses for photographer Jon Naar on the famous red couch in his studio on E. 47th Street in midtown Manhattan, 1965

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.

 

Edie Sedgwick at the Silver Factory

Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol at the Silver Factory – From Stephen Shore’s book Warhol: Factory.

 

Billy Name (foreground) and Andy Warhol (background) at the Factory, 1965-7, by Stephen Shore. © Stephen Shore

Billy Name (foreground) and Andy Warhol (background) at the Factory, 1965-7, by Stephen Shore. From Stephen Shore’s book Warhol: Factory.

The Silver Factory by Stephen Shore. Andy WArhol

The Silver Factory by Stephen Shore. From Stephen Shore’s book Warhol: Factory.

 

“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.”

 

 

Andy Warhold Brillo silver Factory, photo by Billy Name 1964

Andy Warhold Brillo silver Factory, photo by Billy Name 1964

The Andy Monument, Union Square, New York, America Andy Warhol statue unveiled in Union Square, New York, America - 30 Mar 2011 The Andy Monument, by artist Rob Pruitt

The Andy Monument, Union Square, New York, America – 30 Mar 2011
The Andy Monument by artist Rob Pruitt