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ANDY WARHOL Christopher Makos Magic: Artist On the Rise



ith all the buzz around town about the Whitney Museum exhibition, Andy Warhol- From A to B Again, and the 350 works curated by the brilliant Donna De Salvo, we all needed to stop and take in the amazing works including photographs, canvases and films by the late artist this past winter season. Artist on the Rise shines the light on other great artists who surrounded Warhol during this period, one being well known American photographer and artist, Christopher Makos. Makos is noted for introducing Warhol to the works of famous artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and also for giving Warhol his first camera! The artist chronicles his close friendship and extensive international travels with Andy Warhol (including the famous Concord!) Their journey is published in multiple books, including his own book, Warhol: A Photographic Memoir. The artist first apprenticed with noted photographer Man Ray, and now has a major career traveling the world contributing to publications such as Interview, Rolling Stones, New York Magazine and many more. Makos photographed many celebrities including the gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor, Calvin Klein, Liza Mellini and many celebrated contemporary artists like Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, all of whom have visited him over the years wanting to be touched by Makos’ magic and raw talent, hoping to stay connected to this special man who taught Warhol to take his first photograph! I had the privilege of spending some time with the artist, and his raw, candid, captivating and deeply personal photographs surrounded us during the private studio visit. The experience was as if you were

in the room with all of his subjects looking down on you. Makos continues to blaze a unique trail in photography, traveling the world as an almost modern day contemporary oracle, providing timeless and intimate views that captivate audiences moving viewers to continue to want something more. So you worked with Warhol between 1976-1987 for nearly a decade? Yes this is correct. Peter, who manages all the archive can confirm because I can’t live in that time frame, you know what I mean. I can’t live there. And this was hard to live there. I’d prefer now. How did you become a photographer? What was the interest? Someone gave me a camera as a gift because I was dabbling in drawing and electronic music and making all kinds of experiments. I just liked to explore and to get straight to the point of what you wanted to do, one didn’t have to be involved with a lot of other people like in the music industry or other creative forms. You took pictures, you develop them, and you were in control. You were the director. And also, it was a language that I liked immensely. Have people always been your subjects? Was it about your relationship with the subjects? Yes. I mean, the subject matter sort of emerges through my personality, because my personality has always been sort of outgoing, happy and friendly person. And so whether it’s my first meeting with Warhol or Tennessee Williams or all the people that I’ve known throughout my career. I speak to them, talk to them, and say, “Oh, let’s do your portrait.” It would just come about naturally, unlike today they don’t come about naturally. If you go around

Spring 2019 | 21

Profile for Metropolitan Magazine

Metropolitan Magazine March 2019  

Metropolitan Magazine March 2019