While the Grand Palais plays host to the first show of Andy Warhol’s portraits in nearly 30 years, the Fischer Museum of Art in LA is running what amounts to a tandem show half a world away. In LA, they’re looking at Warhol’s polaroids. As David Ng of the LA Times’s Culture Monster blog says, “The artist intended his Polaroids to serve as time-capsule glimpses of a specific era — namely, the ’70s and early ’80s when he was at the height of his fame. The fact that Polaroid recently discontinued its line of signature cameras renders these photographs doubly historic — a long-gone era as captured by a dead technology.”
“Usually you see his Polaroids in single status, not as a large group. But now you can see his process and how he would bring out his subjects’ personalities through repetition,” says Jenny Moore, project curator at the Warhol Legacy Program.
The museum has paired photographs with thematically relevant quotes from Warhol’s personal diary and his book “Exposures.” On one wall, next to a Polaroid series of Bianca Jagger (who, like Warhol, was a Studio 54 regular), he writes: “I’ve never seen her take drugs. That’s her real beauty secret.”
Beside a black-and-white image of an inflatable raft floating in a swimming pool reads Warhol’s famous view of Los Angeles: “I love L.A. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic — but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”
Point and Shoot: Warhol and His Polaroid (Culture Monster/LA Times)