The Factory years Billy Name and Andy Warhol
In the 1960’s Andy Warhol was a commercially successful artist and meet the house photographer Billy Name who later became known as the Factory photographer. The Factory was Andy’s workplace for Creative Commons in New York. The factory was an unprepared arena where people could come, play and work. Photography should become the documentation of the Pop Artists in a decade where a camera is seen as the natural mirror.
Billy and Andy were children of technology
Billy Name and Andy Warhol were children of technology when Norelco gave Factory their first video machine, it was almost like someone getting a new pair of shoes. Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Liechtenstein, and Andy Warhol had let it be known that technology was now a part of capturing Art and a new unexplored media. Andy was fascinated by technology and soon people like Billy Kluver from Bell Labs meet with Andy, and together they made the artwork “the silver cloud”. In the 1960s artists were introduced and collaborated with scientist and engineers to make novel artworks. You walked in, expose yourself and develop yourself.
People who came to the Factory assumed that they would be photographed, and they were. The Factory became a place where people were aware, what kind of outfit to pose with. Billy Name was the unofficial Factory Photographer, a visual extension of Andy’s creative imagination and Factory was a place where function had a great importance. Most of the people who worked there never had or could have a regular job, and Factory functioned as a studio and workplace for all creatives included Andy. Warhol paid the rent and food when needed, the level of creative people was many so one should assume the competing for attention and fame was high with envy emotions. In fact, not, the Factory was a place where people maintained their level of professional attitude and keep up with everything; it was like a club of actors, with respect, admiration, and teamwork.
The Factory was not about being decaden
A lot of people have this view that factory was a place to party, drugs and orgy and at a certain time in New York if you were of any significance in the cultural scene, you would go to the factory; it was important to be there. It was a place where the current creative people could meet. There was nothing cheap or chintz about it, but you needed to like kitsch. Jim Morrison, Nureyev, Judy Tennessee were there not for slumming or anything. Of course, party, clubbing, concerts, drugs, fashion, and design were a part of the creative scene.
Money was no big thing then; however, acid was. The factory was more like a place where people just making art and hanging out and seldom people actually bought anything, and people did not really need money then. Claes Oldenburg opened a shop on the Lower East Side, and the name was The Store, but as you walked in you realized that it was a huge piece of art. A surrealist feeling of being on an acid trip, acid was a part of the scene and a level of the experience. One can see too clearly see and feel the loss of parameters you live by as they disappear, and suddenly you are nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This comes across in artworks as The Bathroom series Billy Names color pictures had a sense of contemporary feel, and it’s almost as it happens next door. At the beginning of the Factory years, in the first Factory, Billy Name mostly shoot black and white photos and used anything available for lights, for the entire filmmaking happened. In the second Factory Billy Name got flash, a big and powerful one, and it was then he decided to shoot some color.
Andy fascinated with making glamour
Andy Warhol attracted people to the scene and drawn to the idea of glamour as a concept, he really wanted to find out what glamour made of and composed. Andy actually did mold out of Edie and Nico in Velvet Underground to type what kind of glamor the band came to have. The recipes of glamour. Andy and Billy made a mold, of how they wanted the characters to be like a Disney Cartoon. Andy became drawn into making himself a mold artwork. He always wanted fame, to be famous or known as a great artist. He became so intense making a character cartoon that he soon became one.
He did not even look at glamour, and he knew he did not have glamour look, nevertheless, Andy found out what glamour made of and figured out how to do it. Billy Name was in the position of following and be around andy’s self-invented glamour. The environment and in-crowd Billy Name documented as house photographer was people attracted to Andy’s intense karma, electricity, and cartoonist style. People did not want to miss it, was like being in the right place at the right time. Billy was not a photographer in that senses like you are a waiter, and he is a chef, no. Everybody was like actors in a play with different roles that Andy gave out and asked people to do.
Andy Warhol was not pretty in the sense of Hollywood glamour
He probably was more concerned about it when he was alone. When he was out he knew how to make glamour, and that was satisfying for him. Andy became very intense about creating this mold character, so he became one. When you start molding and create yourself is a good idea to know how to make glamor, and he did over glamorize everything. That is maybe why young people who are artists later think what an artist was. He was a kind of beauty more like a kid with acne who almost looks good. Andy had a complex personality and opposite Hollywood glamour where you have to sleep with the producer to get ahead. Billy Name was always carrying the camera with him not only at the Factory scene but also outside and did different work after he left Andy he became an icon with a clear visual signature.
Sources and Useful Information (Click and Open)
- The Factory A great exhibition with images New York underground scene surrounding The Factory, Andy Warhol’s original New York City studio in the 1960s
- All tomorrow’s party. Billy Names photography on Andy Warhol’s Factory, Published by Frieze, London, and D.A.P., New York. ISBN 1 881616843 Sources and thanks to Billy Name 1997, courtesy of Garvin enterprise, New York
- The Factory addresses 19 E32 and 22 E33, Between Park and Madison.
- Warholstars.org great Andy Warhol website
- Warhol.org about Andy Warhol as an important pop artist which became extremely popular in the second half of the twentieth century.
- The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited by many critics as one of the most important and influential groups of the 1960s. An often-repeated statement, usually attributed to Brian Eno or Peter Buck, is that the first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.
- Andy Warhol managed the Velvet Underground was the house band at the Factory, and Andy used Velvet Underground as a part of Exploding Plastic Inevitable events. The provocative lyrics of some of the band’s songs gave a nihilistic outlook to some of their music.
- Billy Name born William Linich, 22 February 1940 in Poughkeepsie, New York, is an American photographer, filmmaker, and lighting designer. He was the archivist of the Warhol Factory, from 1964 to 1970. His brief romance and subsequent friendship with Andy Warhol led to real collaboration on Warhol’s work, including his films, paintings, and sculpture.
- Linich became Billy Name among the coterie known as the Warhol Superstars. He was responsible for silvering Warhol’s New York studio, the Factory, where he lived until 1970. His photographs of the scene at the Warhol Factory and of Warhol himself are important documents of the Pop-art area
Recommended Books Billy Name and Andy Warhol