(born March 20, 1943) is a North American
poet, photographer, filmmaker, curator and archivist.
Born in the Bronx, New York, he graduated from the School of Industrial
Art in Manhattan and attended Wagner College on Staten Island. At Wagner,
he befriended one of his English professors, Willard Maas and his wife,
Marie Menken -- both experimental filmmakers and socialites who were the
basis for Edward Albee's play, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" In 1981
Gerard Malanga photographed the last farmer on Staten Island, Herbert
Gericke. Malanga was a major influence on Andy Warhol, with whom he
founded Interview magazine, which still flourishes under different
management. Malanga was Warhol's chief assistant from 1963 to 1970, as
well as the lead actor in many of his early films. His photographs of
poets have been published in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Unmuzzled OX.
Gerard Malanga is perhaps best known as Warhol’s right-hand-man during the
artist’s most prolific and influential period as a filmmaker and painter,
during which Malanga created a series of deeply romantic films of his own,
in which Malanga’s on-screen persona of "the young poet" is foregrounded
in each frame. Malanga’s films, shot almost entirely with a hand-held
Bolex, present a world in which all is celebration, beauty, and sacrifice
of the self for art. The thirty-minute color and black and white film In
Search of the Miraculous (1967) is an emotional, vivid poem of adoration
for his then-fiancée, Benedetta Barzini.
Other early Malanga films also put the performer center stage within the
filmmaker's lens. Mary for Mary (1966) is a portrait of the actor Mary
Woronov, wielding her whip with customary aplomb as she confronts
Malanga’s camera; Donovan Meets Gerard (1966) documents a performative
meeting between Malanga and the folk singer Donovan at Warhol’s studio.
One of Malanga’s most ambitious works, the sixty-minute, split-screen,
two-projector, stereo-sound Pre-Raphaelite Dream (1968), documents the
filmmaker’s friends and extended family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as
they perform their lives for the camera. In The Recording Zone Operator
(1968), shot on location in Rome in 35mm Techniscope/Technicolor, Malanga
worked with Tony Kinna, Anita Pallenberg and members of the Living
In 1970, Malanga left Warhol's studio to work on his own.
Currently, Malanga maintains an archive of his still- and motion-picture
records of life at Warhol's Factory, and continues his work as a poet. He
is the author of some twenty volumes of poetry, including the collection
This Will Kill That, and a collaboration with Warhol which has become a
much sought-after collector's item, Screen Tests: A Diary, which contains
some of his most compelling early poems.