Ad Lib Gallery is proud to present The Lost Warhols, an exclusive exhibition of works portraying the iconic artist Andy Warhol. Curated by American photographer and street artist Karen Bystedt, the exhibition features new interpretations of her archival photographs of Warhol, by a selection of international contemporary artists including MAXIM, James Mylne, Peter Tunney, and Miguel Paredes.
The original photographs were taken by Bystedt, then a tenacious young film student at NYU, who in 1983 boldly cold-called Warhol at Interview Magazine inviting him to pose for her for her book-in-progress featuring the era’s top male models. Having come across an image of the artist modelling for Barney’s, she had hoped to capture the icon in this unique context, positioned amongst faces renowned for their aesthetic ideal – and on hearing whom else she intended to include, Warhol swiftly agreed to join the fold. Bystedt’s resulting images capture a soft and vulnerable Warhol, the man made infamous by making others his model, now the model himself.
Bystedt included two of the thirty-six photos shot that afternoon in her book Not Just Another Pretty Face published by Nal, and placed the negatives in storage, where they lived untouched for 25 years. After all that time, compelled to unearth the images captured that afternoon, Bystedt was able to locate just 10 of her original negatives, and dedicated the months to restoring her Andy, pixel-by-pixel.
Having turned from photographer to visionary pioneer in the mixed media form, Bystedt conceptualized a new future for her portraits, one that echoed her subject’s inventive spirit, and mirrored his approach to both inspiration and practice. Giving form to a modern, immaterial Factory of her own, Bystedt invited contemporary artists to interpret her images in their own artistic language, thus conceptualizing a series of collaborations that would represent community and pay homage to the mixed media form so inextricably associated with the legacy of Warhol. Exhibiting artists include, among others: Karen Bystedt (Miami); Brayden Bugazzi (LA); Consumer Art (New York); Cavanagh Foyle (Ireland); Carlos Manuel (Cuba); MAXIM (Czech Republic); Nick Munier (Ireland); James Mylne (London); Miguel Paredes (Miami) Will St Leger (Ireland); Louisa Tebbutt (London); and Peter Tunney (New York).