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Andy Warhol’s Iconic Polaroid Portraits Will Have Their Own Exhibit in London

Andy Warhol Self-Portrait with Polaroid

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait in Fright Wig, 1986, Polacolor ER, 10.8 x 8.5 cm. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Before the digital age of smartphones and selfies, there was nothing more immediate than a Polaroid. And there is perhaps no other artist who is better able to bridge the gap between the artistry of analog photography and the instant gratification of digital photography than Andy Warhol. This pioneer of pop art used photography as a basis for all his artwork and was rarely seen without his trusted SX-70 Polaroid camera.

Warhol documented every moment of his time in New York during the 1970s and 1980s, helping immortalize the friends, collectors, and celebrities who circled him. Carrying his camera everywhere, he snapped portraits both as a way to “collect” his memories and prepare for his silk screens. The famed artist also turned the camera toward himself, taking self-portraits that are an aloof, disconnected look at his own face.

Warhol preciously guarded his Polaroids, relentlessly chronicling life up until his death in 1987. Now, over 60 of his Polaroid portraits and self-portraits are on display in an exhibit, aptly titled Andy Warhol Polaroid Pictures, at BASTIAN in London. The show gives a glimpse into Warhol’s inner circle and is an incredible record of a society dominated by image and illusion.

These stripped down visions of well-known celebrities like Liza Minelli and Jane Fonda cut to the core of Warhol’s prowess as a photographer. A force of nature, Warhol was able to gain access to all walks of life, placing them each on a level playing field. “Who could feel threatened by the weird guy in the pale wig who talked like a child and took photos that looked like your six-year-old might have snapped them?,” writes Blake Glopnik. “But there’s a tough edge to what Warhol got up to, since anything that’s cataloged is ultimately brought down to the same level as all the other objects in the inventory.”

Andy Warhol Polaroid Pictures will be on view at BASTIAN in London from February 2 to April 13, 2019.

Andy Warhol’s Polaroid portraits are an incredible glimpse into celebrity culture of the 1970s and 1980s.

Andy Warhol Polaroid of Liza Minella

Andy Warhol, Liza Minelli, 1977, Polacolor Type 108, 10.8 x 8.5cm, © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Andy Warhol Polaroid of Basquiat

Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982, Polacolor ER, 10.8 x 8.5 cm.© 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Andy Warhol Polaroid of Jane Fonda

Andy Warhol, Jane Fonda, 1982, Polacolor 2, 10.8 x 8.5 cm, © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Andy Warhol Polaroid Exhibition

Andy Warhol, Yves Saint-Laurent, 1972, Polacolor Type 108, 10.7 x 8.5 cm. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Andy Warhol Polaroid of David Hockney

Andy Warhol, David Hockney, ca. 1972, Polaroid, 10.7 x 8.5 cm. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Andy Warhol Polaroid Portraits

Andy Warhol, Paloma Picasso, ca. 1983, Polaroid Type SX-70, 10.8 x 8.8 cm, © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

Andy Warhol Polaroid Exhibition

Andy Warhol, The American Indian (Russell Means), 1976, Polacolor Type 108. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Licensed by DACS, London. Courtesy BASTIAN, London

BASTIAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by BASTIAN.

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