Entertainment & Arts

Andy Warhol portraits 'forgotten' for 30 years

Andy Warhol with sunflower
Image caption The Warhol portraits cast the artist as subject

Photographic portraits of pop artist Andy Warhol, which lay forgotten in a filing cabinet for more than 30 years, are to go on show for the first time.

The photos were taken in 1981 by Daily Express photographer Steve Wood at a hotel in the French town of Deauville.

The shots, which feature the artist in poses including standing with a giant sunflower, were not published at the time and remained unseen until 2012.

They will be exhibited at a show titled Lost Then Found in New York in May.

"The shoot was easy, it was very instinctive," Wood told the BBC. "Andy was very straightforward to work with. He trusted me to direct him as I wanted - to show him at his best. There was a great chemistry between us."

The photographer explained that 35mm slides had languished in his filing cabinet "gathering dust" for more than three decades.

"On my return from Deauville I came back with so many celebrity pictures that I just chose the ones to be published in the newspapers and forgot the rest.

"It was only last year when my friend David Munns - a famous food photographer in London - jogged my memory drawing a parallel between my loft space and that of Warhol's.

"We got talking and David refused to believe I had ever met the man! So I began the search through my 35mm slides marked 'W', and the images were rediscovered, right next to Dennis Waterman."

The Lost Then Found exhibition is supported by Interview magazine, which was founded by Warhol in 1969.

Christopher Bollen, the magazine's editor, said: "The fascination of these found photographs lies in the fact that just when you think all sides of Andy Warhol have been seen and mined, a rare intimate window opens on the legend.

"These photographs reveal a different Warhol than most of us have ever witnessed. It's a testament to the photographer and an opportunity to re-assess his bearing as one of the most influential artists of the last century."

Warhol was a leading exponent of the pop art movement that flourished in the 1960s, with images of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Campbell's soup cans among his most famous works. He died in 1987 aged 58.

Lost Then Found is at the 345meatpacking venue in New York from 2-12 May. Some images will also feature as part of a pop-up exhibition at South Place Hotel, in London, from 10-12 May.

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