Untitled (Peter Beard with dog) in Red Book #124
© 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY
Courtesy of Peter Beard Studio and www.peterbeard.com
The leading artist of the Pop Art movement during the 1960s, Andy Warhol began his career in New York as a magazine and advertising illustrator. This early experience was doubtless a major influence on later work, particularly visible in his use of images from mass culture, such as a Campbell’s soup can. Throughout his career, Warhol experimented with a variety of media ranging from painting, prints, and photography to performance art and filmmaking.
Between 1969 and 1975, Warhol prefigured the smartphone by documenting his life with thousands of instant Polaroid photographs. He meticulously catalogued the images and stored them in individual red Holson Polaroid albums. Subjects ranged from friends and celebrities to his dogs and the landscape. Many of these photos served as source material for his silkscreen paintings. The Polaroid camera spoke to his fascination with the nature of modern consumerism and the photograph as a readymade, a machine-made object presented as a work of art.
Warhol took these pictures during his first summer of numerous trips to Montauk, New York. In 1972, he and his friend, film director Paul Morrissey, purchased a beach compound, Eothen, which means “at first light” in ancient Greek. For nearly two decades, Warhol entertained rock stars and Hollywood personalities in this summer home. The majority of portraits in this album feature famed photographer Peter Beard, a longtime friend and collaborator. Warhol’s friend Lee Radziwell, sister of Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, appears because she was leasing his main house.