History of Photography

History of Photography

A World History of Photography

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991

Photographers' Dictionary






1   Nicephore Niepce. View from the Study Window, 1827

2   Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre. Boulevard du Temple, 1838

3   Eugene Durieu/Eugene Delacroix. Nude from Behind, ca. 1853

4   Duchenne de Boulogne. Contractions musculaires, 1856

5   Auguste Rosalie Bisson. The Ascent of Mont Blanc, 1862

6   Nadar. Sarah Bernhardt, ca. 1864

7   Francois Aubert. Emperor Maximilian's Shirt, 1867

8   Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi. Dead Communards, 1871

9   Maurice Guibert. Toulouse-Lautrec in His Studio, ca. 1894

10 Max Priester/Willy Wilcke. Bismarck on his Deathbed, 1898

11 Heinrich Zille. The Wood Gatherers, 1898

12 Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage, 1907

13 Lewis Hine. Girl Worker in a Carolina Cotton Mill, 1908

14 August Sander. Young Farmers, 1914

15 Paul Strand. Blind Woman, 1916

16 Man Ray. Noire et blanche, 1926

17 Andre Kertesz. Meudon, 1928

18 Robert Capa. Spanish Loyalist, 1936

19 Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936

20 Horst P. Horst. Mainbocher Corset, 1939

21 Henri Cartier-Bresson. Germany, 1945

22 Richard Petersen. View from the Dresden City Hall Tower, 1945

23 Robert Doisneau. The Kiss in Front of City Hall, 1950

24 Dennis Stock. James Dean on Times Square, 1955

25 Bert Stern. Marilyn's Last Sitting, 1962

26 Gerard Malanga. Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground, 1966

27 Helmut Newton. They're Coming!, 1981

28 Sandy Skoglund. Revenge of the Goldfish, 1981

29 Robert Mapplethorpe. Lisa Lyon, 1982

30 Joel-Peter Witkin. Un Santo Oscuro, 1987

31 Sebastiao Salgado. Kuwait, 1991


see also:

Malanga Gerard

Chapter 26



Gerard Malanga


Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground

Croup Portrait

with Nico

May 1966: Andy Warhol is making a guest appearance in Los Angeles together with the pop group The Velvet Underground and Nico. This is hardly his first visit to the city, but it marks his premier as a band 'member'. Also present on the occasion is Gerard Malanga, who can hardly have imagined that his rather relaxed group portrait will go down in the history of photography as proof of Andy Warhol's short but passionate excursion into Rock music.


The arrangement of the group expresses a historical reality, as it were: it reflects the actual dynamics of the band, even if the photographer, Gerard Malanga, has always stressed that nothing was set up or staged. "This picture almost didn't happen," says Malanga, by which he means that he stumbled into it almost by accident. That is, it was nothing more than a mere snapshot, a quick press of the button without any attempt at making 'art'. But this very artlessness is probably what lends the photo-graph its intrinsic charm. From left to right: Nico, Andy Warhol, and The Velvets in a relaxed atmosphere - cool and at ease because, after all, they are just posing for their friend with a borrowed Pentax, not for eternity. All that Gerard Malanga wants is a small photograph, for as a poet, performance artist, and co-worker in Andy Warhol's Factory, Malanga has not yet felt the call to become a photographer, and he only picks up a camera on rare occasions. But even so, he is nonetheless conforming to one of Henri Cartier-Bresson's famous dicta: "You can't photograph a memory." In other words: when should you photograph something, if not now?

Gerard Malanga
The Velvet Underground and Nico with Andy Warhol


Career in the Land of Unlimited Opportunity


It is May 1966. They've all come together on the terrace of the 'Castle': Lou Reed, the only one refusing to look into the camera; behind him, almost hidden, the androgynous-looking Maureen Tucker; standing to the right of Lou is Sterling Morrison. John Cale is seated. It is obvious that he and Lou Reed form the great antipodes of the group. Without their even wishing it, the conflict between them is palpable in the photograph, which almost brilliantly reflects the deep rift within the band. To the far left and completely in white is the beautiful Nico, the lead singer of The Velvet Underground. She is a discovery of Andy Warhol's whom he has described as weird and silent. "You ask her something, and she answers you maybe five minutes later." Warhol has cast himself once again in the role of a little boy, a game that he greatly enjoyed, according to Malanga. Warhol's pose in the photograph might be described as awkward, even inhibited. But one shouldn't be fooled by appearances, for with Andy Warhol everything is calculated, including the mannered way he uses his hands. Malanga says that it's a style that he picked up from Cocteau, and adds: "Andy was very aware of this."

Andy was aware of everything. And as befits this consciousness, he began to work on his image early in his career, and the first step was a change of name. An appellation like 'Andrei Warhola' scarcely provides a ticket to success in the Land of Unlimited Opportunity, and the man who was described by John Lennon as the world's best publicity star was aware of this from the beginning. 'Warhola' pointed back to his Slavic roots, stamped him as a weird stranger, underlined his origins as a poor immigrant. And this was precisely what Andy wanted to get away from -the entire milieu, and in particular the city where he spent his childhood: Pittsburgh, a dirty, soot-filled Moloch, center of America's vast iron and steel industry, with all the charm of the notorious Ruhr Valley, or Manchester at the height of the Industrial Revolution. He wanted to escape from all that, to get out into the great land beyond, to share in the "American Dream," to make his mark and become rich and famous - it really didn't matter how.

Gerard Malanga
Andy Warhol with The Velvet Underground and Nico, The Castle


Typical symptoms of a poor-boy-made-good


When he finally 'arrived' - after he had gotten rich and became a star -Warhol manifested the typical symptoms of a poor-boy-made-good. During the week, he took on the role of provocateur, but on Sunday, he crept back into church. Warhol donated alms to ensure himself a place in heaven, but was irresponsible in paying his employees and helpers. A consummate Scrooge who appreciated nothing more than the crinkle of a crisp new dollar bill. An artist who loved money so much that he even painted it. A petty bourgeois who slept on pillows filled with crumpled greenbacks. A pack rat who couldn't let anything go, who checked every bit of trash for fear that someone might comb through it and start selling the contents as souvenirs. A peacock who let himself be chauffeured around in a Rolls Royce, ail the while complaining about his financial troubles. And yet at the same time, Andy Warhol was an extremely creative spirit who left almost no field of art untouched. He was a writer and poet, a film-maker and photographer, and the founder and publisher of the now-legendary magazine Interview. Through his engagement with The Velvet Underground, he even fulfilled his dream of having his 'own' rock band. With some degree of success he also designed album covers: for The Velvets, of course, but also for the Rolling Stones' famous album Sticky Fingers. And, if one takes his constant self-staging into account, Andy Warhol was also an actor - or rather, a twenty-four-hour performance artist. And of course, above all he was a painter.

One has to admit, whatever he took up, he rubbed it against the grain. Every discipline to which he submitted himself (if the word 'submission' can be applied to Warhol's approach), he grasped with the naive intuition of a child - and ended up doing whatever he wanted with it, flaunting every rule of the game in the process. Thus, as a matter of principle, the book that he wrote had to be bad; that is, it was intentionally full of speling errors and other problems. His numerous underground films transgressed not only the rules of narrative cinematography but also the sitting power of the average movie-goer. And naturally the rock group that he joined was something which, as Cher phrased it at the time, "will replace nothing - except maybe suicide" - a critique that The Velvets of course immediately conscripted into their own PR. Last but not least, Warhol was a painter; but also here, his 'painting' had nothing to do with the canvases created by the ingenious hand of the traditional artist.

Gerard Malanga
Patti Smith in subway, 1971

Patti Smith on platform in the 68th Street/Lexington Ave, subway station, New York City, 1971


Adoption of everyday, banal objects


Andy Warhol's first coup was the creation of a new canon of motifs. Truly revolutionary for the early 1960s, a period still stamped by the abstract expressionism of a Pollock or de Kooning, Warhol's adoption of everyday, banal objects, his interest in the trivial myths of America from Coca Cola to Campbell's Soup, was truly revolutionary. But Pop - that is, the artistic treatment of everyday objects - had had its practitioners before Warhol. His true significance for recent art history lies elsewhere: Warhol taught us to redefine the concept of the artist, artistry, and art itself. In this sense, he in no way saw himself as an ingenious artist-individualist, but rather as the boss of a fractious troupe. Significantly, Warhol did not maintain a studio, but a "Factory"; and the Marilyns, Elvis Presleys, dollar bills that were produced there on the assembly line had more to do with photo-mechanic reproduction than with talented brush strokes. Lawrence Guiles describes Warhol's somewhat complicated process: first the artist searched through newspapers and magazines for a picture that intrigued him; he cut it out, and reproduced it to whatever size he wanted. Then he coated a silk screen with a light-sensitive layer and produced a stencil that enabled him to make innumerable copies of his image. As Guiles points out, photography lay at the root of the process.


Gerard Malanga
Warhol Factory group shot, 1968.

Top row, left to right: Nico, Brigid Polk, Louis Walclon, Taylor Mead, Ultra Violet, Paul Morrissey, Viva, International Velvet, unknown. Below, left to right: Ingnd Supentar, Ondirie, Tom Baker, Tiger Morse, Billy Name, Andy Warhol


Photography as a mode of artistic expression


But in May of 1966, neither Andy Warhol nor his 'student' and coworker Gerard Malanga had yet discovered photography as a mode of artistic expression. As a child, the latter had used his Kodak box camera to shoot a photo of his beloved Third Avenue El - the New York elevated railway -before it was torn down, and later, in 1965, he had worked with Andy Warhol on his so-called 'screen tests', activities which in a sense served as an entrance into the medium. But not until 1969 did his portrait of the writer Charles Olson and the multiple prints that he immediately produced from it become the starting point for Malanga's intensive engagement with the art of photography. Meanwhile, Warhol for his part began increasingly to take Polaroids - probably as an outgrowth of his work for Jimmy Carter, Willy Brandt, and Golda Meir - and then to produce screened patterns from them in the fashion described above. Warhol also carried his small-format Minox along with him, but, as the photographer Christopher Makos explains, a Minox requires focusing, which was not at all of interest to Warhol. As a result, Makos introduced the artist to the new auto-focus cameras.

Gerard Malanga
Andy Warhol accompanying Nico, MC for a Late Night Horror movie series on a local TV station, Boston, Ca. 1966


Warhol acquired a modern Canon in addition to his small Minox camera. According to the historian David Bourdon, it was the Canon that enabled Warhol to take his notoriously indiscreet snapshots of, for example, Truman Capote visiting a plastic surgeon, or Liza Minelli stepping out of the shower. In all, there were several hundred of these candid photographs that Warhol did not hesitate to publish in his book Exposures. In other words, in the early 1970s, Andy Warhol emerged a diligent photographer. His importance to the history of photography, however, does not lie so much in his prima facie assemblage of photographs in itself. As paradoxical as it may sound, his real significance as a photographer arises from his painting: insofar as Warhol won recognition in the field of art through his pictures created with mechanical means and produced (i.e. printed) in great numbers, he also broke the ice for a new photography based on mechanical production and 'endless' reproducibility. And yet, as everyone knows, Andy Warhol had begun his career in the early 1950s as a commercial and advertising artist. The work that he produced during this period for Conde Nast (Vogue) and I. Miller (shoes) is among his best. But Warhol wanted to be more than a simple, anonymous 'hand', and he felt himself drawn toward art without, however, having any particular theme in mind, let alone a message. Even later he managed without 'messages', of course; and in fact many critics found his pictures fascinatingly empty - candy-colored nothings. On the other hand, Warhol's bio-grapher Guiles argues that Warhol presented this 'nothing' in such a bold and striking manner that it was impossible to overlook. At the end of the 1950s, Warhol decided to turn to Pop, that is to the artistic translation of popular objects -such as comics. But here it was already too late, for comics were already the domain of Roy Lichtenstein. Depressed, Andy complained to his friend Muriel Latow that he didn't know where to begin, and asked for some inspiration. Latow's answer: he should choose a common object, some-thing ordinary that one sees every day, but takes for granted - for example a can of soup. Andy Warhol's face lit up in a smile: the suggestion proved the turning point both of the evening and of the history of painting.

Thus, Andy Warhol took up painting Campbell's Soup: Noodle, Tomato, Chicken. And he became famous - but such fame was still a far cry from recognition as an artist. Until the end of his life, many considered him no more than a seasoned charlatan: a talented draftsman, certainly, but as an artist, a dud - and as a human being, the dregs. The New York Museum of Modern Art, for example, stubbornly refused to mount a retrospective of his works. Only after his death - and then without hesitation -did the MoMA finally mount the show that the artist had so long wished, and afterwards, it moved on to Chicago, London, Cologne, Paris, and Venice. In other words, the curve of Andy Warhol's career was anything but steep and continuous. His beginnings as an artist were in fact rather discouraging; for many years, his attempts to find a niche in respected galleries remained unsuccessful. "Andy, lay off," the New York Times advised at regular intervals; "you're not real art." Willem de Kooning, the exponent of an abstract expressionism that in many way constituted the antithesis to Warhol, spoke out even more clearly, screaming out his hatred of the Pop artist in public, and accusing him of killing beauty and joy.

Gerard Malanga
Nico, contactsheet fragment, Ca. 1962



Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic


Andy Warhol understood very well how to polarize anything he touched - including his comparatively brief excursion into rock music. He had set out searching for a band already in late 1965. Theater producer Michael Myerberg was in the process of opening a new club in an abandoned airplane hangar in Queens, and declared himself ready to christen the shed "Andy Warhol's Up," on the condition that the Pop artist would provide the music. Before Christmas, on a lead from Barbara Rubin, Warhol listened to a rock group called The Velvet Underground in the New York cafe Bizarre. Right from the start, Warhol got along brilliantly with Lou Reed, as Warhol's biographer Victor Bockris reports. And thus, several days later, negotiations began in the Factory. Bockris tells how the 'coked-up' Velvets felt almost magically drawn to Warhol, and that Lou Reed was hit the hardest, because, like Billy Linich and Gerard Malanga, he had simply been waiting to be formed by a master hand. Andy gave Lou ideas for songs, and hammered the importance of work into him. The appearances that Warhol organized and directed turned into multimedial events. \n short, he professionalized the Velvs and made them famous. But as to the identity of the true star of the show, Bockris leaves no doubt. After all, almost no one had heard of The Velvet Underground or Nico, but Andy was already a celebrity. And there he sat, elevated high above the dance floor, operating the projectors and exchanging the light filters.

At the beginning of May, the group had a gig in Los Angeles, and 3-15 May, Warhol and The Velvets were scheduled to appear with Nico in the "Trip." The group was staying in what was known as the Castle, a private house modeled along medieval lines, and probably conforming fairly well to Warhol's taste. "I love LA.," he once announced, "I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic." Our picture was taken on the terrace of the Castle. Gerard Malanga set the borrowed Pentax on a stand, which accounts for his own inclusion in several variants of the photograph. In the first versions of the picture, The Velvets are laughing, or at least smiling. Here, however, they are serious, almost ill-tempered. After only a few weeks, their "Trip" had been closed down by order of the local sheriff The local press expressed a less negative response to The Velvets, calling the arrival of Andy, the super-hippie, on Sunset Strip the greatest match since French fries discovered ketchup.

Gerard Malanga
Nico, 1966


Christa Paffgen (October 16, 1938?[1] – July 18, 1988) was a German singer-songwriter, fashion model, actress, keyboard player and Warhol Superstar, best known by her pseudonym Nico.
As a musician, she is remembered for both her time in The Velvet Underground and her solo work.


Enter Valerie Solanas, radical feminist


Thirty-seven years old in 1966, Andy Warhol was almost at the height of his international fame - which is not, however, to be mistaken for popularity. The manner in which he stylized himself- his Cay affectations; his waxy, elfin-like being; his almost albino coloring, accented by pimples and nylon wig; his feeble charm combined with an eloquence that hardly rose above "Uhmm," "Crazy!" and "Super!" - these were not the sort of things to turn him into a national favorite. On the contrary, he had enemies, including some who were not content to leave the matter at verbal attacks. On 1 June 1968, for example, exactly two years after our picture was taken, Valerie Solanas, a radical feminist, turned up at Warhol's New York Factory and in a state of fury laid the artist low with several bullets. Warhol, although given up by the doctors, nonetheless survived. Robert Kennedy, also the victim of an assassination attempt in the summer of 1968, died. "That's the way things are in this world," Warhol's artist colleague Frank Stella is reputed to have said.

Gerard Malanga
The Velvet Underground, 1966


There's no question: two bullets from the barrel of a crazed feminist would have been precisely the fitting end for the publicity-seeking Warhol - at any rate more suitable than the simple gall bladder operation that Warhol in fact succumbed to at age fifty-nine in 1987. A few days after his unexpected death, his body was carried back to Pittsburgh, where he was buried. The city of his childhood had claimed him once again - and the local grave-digger reveled in what he termed his first famous burial. Andy Warhol's chapter in history by no means ended with his death, however. The mountain of pictures, antiques, and knickknacks that the social climber - forever plagued by insecurity about the future - had collected in his various domiciles now awaited new owners: On 23 April 1988, Sotheby's in New York began a ten-day auction of Warhol's estate. The five volumes of the catalogue comprised 3,429 items, and more than six thousand people wanted to attend. These figures were harbingers of what was to come. As Victor Bockris reports, the auction house had underestimated the hammer price in almost every case. For example, at $77,000, Warhol's Rolls Royce brought in more than five times what had been reckoned; a ring estimated at $2,000 went for $28,000; and a Cy Twombly was taken up to a record price of $990,000. Last but not least, Andy Warhol's candy jars, with a market worth of perhaps $2,000, were sold for a total of $247,830. The entire estate, which Sotheby's had estimated at a value of $15 million brought in more than $25 million. And what would Warhol have said to all this? Fran Lebovitz, a friend and co-worker on Interview, is reported to have glanced heavenward and said: "Andy must be furious that he's dead."

Gerard Malanga
Self-portrait with model, 1989



Gerard Joseph Malanga (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 Theatre.
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.

Gerard Malanga and Andy Warhol
Still from Benedetta Barzini's Screen Test, 1966


Andy Warhol in Piero Heliczer's Joan of Arc, 1966.


The concluding scene from Andy Warhol:
Portraits of the Artist As A Young Man.
A film by Gerard Malanga, 1964-65


Charles Bukowski, 1972


Brion Gysin and William Burroughs at their flat in St. James', London, 1972


Robert Creeley and Spot, 1973


Robert Mapplethorpe, 1971


Duke Ellington, 1971


Mick Jagger, 1970


Thurston Moore. Live at The Cooler, 1998


Joe Dallesandro and Cindy Lee, 1971


Roman Polanski, 1972


Taylor Mead, 1971


Andrew Wylie in the London Tube, 1972


Edie Sedgwick photobooth portrait
from Gerard Malanga's objet photomaton series, 1966


Loulou de la Falaise, 1971


Zero Mostel, 1975


Candy Darling visits Gerard Malanga at 6 in the morning,
having locked herself out of her flat, 1971


Andy Warhol and Parker Tyler, 1969


Terry Southern and Larry Rivers, 1974


Andy Warhol and Truman Capote, 1980


John Rechy and Charles Bukowski, 1973


Portrait of Charles Olson, 1969


Candy Darling, 1971



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