I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Some people appreciate Warhol for his wry wit, others for his irony. His work has been critiqued, dissected, obsessed over, and auctioned at record-breaking numbers. One thing is certain: America's fascination with Warhol will never cease, which is why you'll want to stop by the Museum of Modern Art in December for "Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures", a new exhibit that focuses on Warhol's films shot in the 1960s, largely his short "Screen Tests" as well as longer works such as "Kiss" (54m., 1963-64).
Warhol was famous for being private. In fact, he disliked being physically touched and touching others. His repeated claims that it was "too hard to care" and "too difficult to get close to people" only make the intimacy of the Screen Tests that much more interesting; what Warhol was unable to achieve in reality he achieved through his cameras. And from 1963 to 1966, he captured more than 472 subjects on 16mm film, each one exactly four minutes in length.
In them, Warhol filmed everyone who visited his Factory, including Lou Reed, Allen Ginsberg, Dennis Hopper, Edie Sedgwick (pictured), Bob Dylan, Billy Name, Nico, Susan Sontag and Salvador Dali, just to name a few. The collection itself reads like a yearbook of the 1960s avant-garde. Each film was shot at 24 frames-per-second and then projected at two-thirds that speed for a languid, dreamy effect that exaggerates every movement and heightens the drama exponentially. Subjects can be seen doing every mundane thing imaginable—crying, smoking, drinking, and brushing their teeth, but the effect is remarkably Warhol. And the intimacy is unmatched. See for yourself from December 19 through March 21 at the Museum of Modern Art.