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|Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties
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From Publishers Weekly
With this new chronicle of Warhol's Factory years, independent scholar Watson makes a fresh pass at the already heavily picked-apart Warhol corpus. By focusing on more marginal personalities rather than the Factory's silver-haired figurehead, Watson provides an agreeable, if far from groundbreaking, addition to the already long shelf of Warholiana. Billy Name, Lou Reed, Nico, Joe Dallesandro, Brigid Berlin and others receive more than their 15 minutes here; many even have their childhood biographies written up as partially expxlanatory of future exlpoits. The main focus is on the Silver Factory period, stretching from roughly 1960 to 1968, when Warhol was shot by enraged hanger-on Valerie Solanas. As with his books Strange Bedfellows (on early modernism) and The Birth of the Beat Generation, Watson brings in historical background and multiple cross-cultural references (along with myriad b&w photos and illustrations), but he is often outpaced here by Warhol's own Popism or Wayne Koestenbaum's Andy Warhol. Still, it's nice to have deep background on all the Factory players in one place, and the book's margins are peppered with appealing lists, definitions and piquant quotes by everybody from Truman Capote to Diana Vreeland and Allan Midgette, an actor who, with the artist's approval, impersonated Warhol at his lectures, and later said, "The Sixties happened, and Andy took credit."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Watson has been exploring the dynamics of avant-garde circles, or "constellations" of creative people, in a series of generously illustrated volumes that deftly combine vivid biographical, sociological, and aesthetic commentary, including Prepare for Saints (1999). In his latest scintillating mosaic, he charts the coalescence and violent disintegration of Andy Warhol's infamous and enormously influential Silver Factory, an "arena for collaborative experimentation" that drew drag queens,... read more
Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties is a fascinating look at the avant-garde group that came together-from 1964 to 1968-as Andy Warhol's Silver Factory, a cast that included Lou Reed, Nico, Edie Sedgwick, Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, Joe Dallesandro, Billy Name, Candy Darling, Baby Jane Holzer, Brigid Berlin, Ultra Violet, and Viva. Steven Watson follows their diverse lives from childhood through their Factory years. He shows how this ever-changing mix of artists and poets, musicians and filmmakers, drag queens, society figures, and fashion models, all interacted at the Factory to create more than 500 films, the Velvet Underground, paintings and sculpture, and thousands of photographs.
Between 1961 and 1964 Warhol produced his most iconic art: the Flower paintings, the Marilyns, the Campbell's Soup Can paintings, and the Brillo Boxes. But it was his films-Sleep, Kiss, Empire, The Chelsea Girls, and Vinyl-that constituted his most prolific output in the mid-1960s, and with this book Watson points up the important and little-known interaction of the Factory with the New York avant-garde film world. Watson sets his story in the context of the revolutionary milieu of 1960s New York: the opening of Paul Young's Paraphernalia, Truman Capote's Black and White Ball, Max's Kansas City, and the Beautiful People Party at the Factory, among many other events.
Interspersed throughout are Watson's trademark sociogram, more than 130 black-and-white
photographs-some never before seen-and many sidebars of quotes and slang that help define the Warholian world. With Factory Made, Watson has focused on a moment that transformed the art and style of a generation.
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|Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties