An homage: My short time with Andy Warhol. Captured Forever. By David Siqueiros
In October 1985, I was living in New York City and had the privilege of photographing Andy Warhol. Sadly, 16 months later while I was working in Australia, Andy went into the hospital and passed away, leaving our photographic collaboration in my archives until now. Through the years I have contemplated on them; however there is no explanation as to why reveal them now other than it feels right. As I prepare to show these photographs for the first time, I want to tell the story the amazing day my camera lens captured Andy.
I’ll never forget that day: October 24, 1985 at the Codalight Studio in New York City. The models for my shoot were Andy Warhol and the two top models of the time Patricia Van Ryckeghem, the face of Chanel, and Clotilde, the face of Ralph Lauren. Also accompanying me in the studio was stylist Jody Elbaum, make-up artist Byron Barnes, hairdresser Timothy John (RIP) and 1st assistant Michael Green. The clothing racks in the studio donned couture from Chanel and Ralph Lauren, as well as fashion by several unknown East Village designers and millinery (hats) by Sharon Hagerty.
As I began shooting photos of Patricia, Andy walked into the studio commanding the attention of the room. Andy made himself invisible and watched as I finished the shots with Patricia.
I went to greet him and he immediately struck me as genuinely humble and barrier-free. Following the introductions, we talked about what were going to do for the shoot and began to sift through the looks on the wardrobe rack. He bypassed the luxurious couture, narrowed in on the East Village grit and asked if we could shoot in “this stuff.” I was relieved and happy he liked and immediately agreed with the selection.
My team was so talented and so in-tune with each other that makeup, hair and stylist modifications were perfectly choreographed, without need for direction. By shear presence, the creative energy Andy brought into the studio was intoxicating. I remember being completely enamored with Patricia, snapping photos of her in the make-up area. She knew I was focused on her and beamed. Her eyes were alive and you could not only see it but you could feel it too.
When it came time for Andy to get in front of the camera, an energy blast burst from the set. The girls flanked him and at first he seemed as androgynous as ever. I remember taking hold of his arms and hands positioning them and telling him to move comfortably. The girls responded to my direction and took over Andy… cavorting with him, positioning him as he posed for the camera, I felt at first Andy was timid but after a while his eyes relaxed and he started to make a more serious effort to be the model boy we all knew he could be. And he delivered.
A couple of days after the shoot, I bumped into Andy at the Food Emporium on 17th and Park Avenue South. I happened to have the slide sheets from the shoot in my bag and, as spontaneous and unique as Andy was, we stood in the middle of the fruit and vegetable section for about half an hour looking at the photos. There we decided to collaborate on a pop art style project with the selection of photographs we had just chosen. Naturally, that was the only logical thing to do!
This hand-picked selection by Andy Warhol is what I present now. Andy Warhol – “The Model Boy” is an homage to that collaboration we decided upon amidst the apples and oranges in a grocery store, but never happened. It is also a tribute to the influence that Andy Warhol has on artists as the world’s greatest pop artist. I hope you find these images as intriguing as I did when I looked through the lens to capture them. Enjoy!
Copyright © MCMLXXXV-MMXV David Siqueiros. All Worldwide Rights Reserved.