Andy Warhol in China: The Photographs of Christopher Makos
Timezone 8 Beijing, China ISBN-10: 9881714486
A documentation of Andy Warhol's 1982 visit to China, this volume offers a unique glimpse of the international pop star by Christopher Makos, his personal photographer. With the advantage of hindsight, this volume becomes complexly ironic--in China in the 80s, almost no one knew who Warhol was. Just a few decades later, in 2006, Warhol's 1972 "Mao" sold for $17.4 million to a Hong Kong real estate tycoon. And Chinese artists have, for years, been incorporating Western pop iconography into their work.
Photographer Christopher Makos became known in the 1970s for his candid shots of Warhol. Henry Geldzahler, the former Curator of Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has written: "It is a great asset in Chris Makos' photographs that they reveal new and unfamiliar faces of the legendary pop figure..."
About the Author
Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing, China. He lived in the U.S. from 1981 to 1993, whereupon he returned to his homeland. His work has been exhibited internationally in group shows in New York, Sweden, Korea, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. He lives with his family in Xinjiang, China.
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1948, Christopher Makos grew up in California and studied architecture in Paris, where he worked as an apprentice to Man Ray. His photographs have been the subject of numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, including the Reina Sofia and the Contemporary Museum of Art of the City of Rome, and have appeared in such publications as Interview, Rolling Stone, House and Garden, Connoisseur, New York Magazine, Esquire, and People.
01 August 2008
LA FABRICA SPAIN D.A.P. NEW YORK
I am not really sure why I keep looking at the pictures in this book. People are always asking about this body of work, and I don't know what to really say anymore, except that it began with a simple conversation with Andy and me, and ended up with what you see in this book.
At the end of the day, I love publishing books; I love re- looking at my work, at other's works. For me it's like seeing a movie for the second or third time. You always see something that you missed the first time around.
In the case of these "altered image" photographs, I don't see them as drag photos anymore, if I ever did. They are not drag photos. They are a sort of a show and tell about identity, and changing identity, not really drag, not really Andy in drag, not really even Andy Warhol any more, but a record of the collaboration between the two of us: poser and picture taker. That's it.
Read into it what you want, that's always the best way. So much has been written about this series of photographs, writers' opinions, people's opinions, reviewers' opinions. Yes the subject is a famous artist who was obsessed with image, the surface appearance of things, who kept going back to portraiture in many forms to reflect what he saw. Definitely these images are about the "man in the mirror."
This time around, Peter Wise came in with an over the top, "re branding" of this work with his title "Lady Warhol", and Alberto Arnaut came up with the idea of publishing these works in a different, larger format, showing them in a new, clearer light.
For me, working on this monograph was an exercise in reviewing my own work, over twenty-eight years later, to see what was still interesting. I am still staring at the subtle expression changes in the poses Andy got into, the subtleties in his body language.
The wigs and the make-up are still there, Andy is still working them in some messy combination of attempted beauty and caricature. But now I look more at what Andy was doing with his eyes, the small changes in the shape of his mouth, and especially in the way he extended his poses all the way through his hands. Andy and I were relaxed enough to let his grace and his awkwardness show. I see in these images openness and vulnerability and Andy's need to express himself. These were parts of Andy that he rarely exposed in public, but I remember them well.
I guess I'm still interested in that "conversation" between friends over two days in June 1981 because the pictures still talk to me today. CM NYC APRIL 2010
Madrid, Spain Press 2010
TVE, news: http://www.rtve.es/mediateca/videos/20101105/a-principios-anos-ochenta-artista-pop-andy-warhol-poso-durante-dos-dias-para-fotografo-christopher-makos-ataviado-pelucas-mujer/922991.shtml
El Cultural: http://www.elcultural.es/noticias/LETRAS/1020/Cuando_Makos_conocio_a_Warhol
El País: http://www.elpais.com/articulo/cultura/pelucas/Andy/elpepucul/20101029elpepucul_5/Tes
El Mundo: http://www.elmundo.es/albumes/2010/11/03/lady_warhol/index.html
13 October 2010
Warhol/ Makos in Context
powerHouse Books Brooklyn, New York USA ISBN-10: 1576873315 ISBN-13: 978-1576873311
The book includes over 100 original Makos contact sheets, reproduced in full with the photographer's editing marks and comments, which have never before been seen. Warhol | Makos In Context features the unedited, raw material of his work during the years he saw Warhol almost daily-including the experiences and friends he shared with Warhol, the trips the two and others made together, and scenes of work life at Warhol's 860 Broadway Factory and Makos' West 15th Street studio. An insider's account of the high jinks and high times at the Factory and beyond, Warhol | Makos In Context is an unexpurgated visual record of New York's most intriguing circle and a primary source document that puts Warhol in context in Makos' life.
The coterie of legendary art world icons featured here includes Liza Minnelli, Madonna, David Geffen, John Lennon, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Keith Richards, Diana Ross, Debbie Harry, David Byrne, Jimmy Buffett, Sonny Bono, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Ali, Steve Rubell, Buzz Aldrin, Tom Seaver, Reggie Jackson, Halston, Calvin Klein, Diana Vreeland, Tom Ford, Jack Nicholson, Elizabeth Taylor, Jodie Foster, Matt Dillon, Marianne Faithfull, Olivia Newton-John, Robert Duvall, Christopher Reeve, Ron Wood, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Norman Mailer, and Truman Capote, and includes remarks by Tom Ford, Ultra Violet, Debbie Harry, Vincent Fremont, and Glenn O'Brien.
24 February 2007
SX-70 Polaroid Book
What I love about Christopher's Polaroid's is that they're a potent relic of a very specific era -- the 70's and early 80's. What a time of incredible energy and excess! People were out all night, Studio 54 was packed, New York was where it was all happening and going out was frenetic, exciting and very, very fun. In many ways, although this may seem like a contradiction, it was also a time of greater innocence, and that's what these pictures capture.
Calvin Klein nyc July 22, 2009
16 April 2010
The Hilton Brothers: Tryants and Lederhosen
La Fabrica ISBN: 9788415303121
The Hilton Brothers are the photographers Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg. Their moniker is derived from the Hilton Sisters, the 1930s Siamese-twin vaudeville stars--and of course from the hotel heiress Hilton sisters of today. Makos is already famed as a portraitist of many of the twentieth century's leading icons, particularly Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon and Man Ray; Solberg is a rising talent who made his name with The Bloom Book, his 2005 collection of flower photographs. Makos and Solberg's first collaborative monograph as the Hilton Brothers takes the form of a travelogue compiling works made by the duo from 2004 to 2011. Tyrants and Lederhosen opens with separate sequences by each of the photographers, which preface their globe-trotting anthropological collaboration as they document and narrate their travels from America to Europe to the Middle East and Asia.
01 October 2011
We can now confirm that the man behind the lens for our Warhol in China 1982
May Issue cover story, Christopher Makos (pictured above with Warhol in
Tiananmen Square on that 82 trip), the man who Andy Warhol described as
"the most modern photographer in America," is coming to Shanghai in
June, showing for the first time in China photographs of Andy Warhol in
New York, along with his iconic images from the historic Warhol in
The exhibition will take place at the Wine
Residence at 41 Hengshan Lu from June 14-18, while there will also be a
talk in Glamour Bar in the buildup, date and time TBC. Makos was not
only close friends with Warhol, but has been at the heart of the New
York scene since the 70s, and will display photos of John Lennon, David
Bowie, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger and many more, including this quite
incredible shot of O.J. Simpson. Watch this space.
21 May 2013
The internationally acclaimed magazine of culture, fashion a
When it comes to the history of art, there’s a special place for the man who taught Andy Warhol how to take a photograph. Christopher Makos, Warhol’s longtime con!dant and collaborator, also studied under the legendary Man Ray—and as such has key insight
into the word of modern photography and its artistic impact.
30 November 2014
Thanks to Rupert Hoogewerf,the Hilton Brothers were featured in his beautiful magazine, along with Wan Jie the president of Artron printing in Beijing, who owns a set
from the HIPPOFOLIUM series
03 June 2013
Interview Magazine Moscow April 2013
In a series of Portraits that I did for Aliona Doletskaya, here is Lyapis Trubetskoy. Aliona was the former editor at Vogue Russia, and is now the director at Interview Magazine Moscow
28 March 2013
It was really a disco trip to Hong Kong,” Christopher Makos explains. “Alfred Siu had commissioned Andy for the Prince Charles and Lady Di portraits to decorate his new club in Hong Kong, and then surprised us with the Beijing trip. We all were actually surprised. And excited to see mainland China.
"Here’s the guy that did the Campbell’s soup can – he was all about the multiplicity of things, and here was a whole lifestyle based on that idea"
30 September 2013
Interview Magzine Moscow Danila Kozlovskiy
Photographed in St.Petersburg Makostudio
This photo shoot of Danila Kozlovskiy was one of the highlights of my trip to Moscow. It was organized by the Interview team Moscow, headed by Aliona Doletskaya. I cant wait to go back and do more photo shoots. The shoot of Danila was in the spring, and in the middle of the summer, Danila came to New York City to improve his English. It was great fun to show him around the city. He especially loved the Broadway shows, and loved Biking around the city. He is curently in the Schiller Play, "Intrique and Love"
01 October 2012
LP SUMMER 2008
With his hip fashion sense, sandy highlighted hair, and infectious gleefulness, it is hard to believe that Christopher Makos is old enough to have been Warhol’s friend, let alone his personal photographer. The NY-based artist is well known in art circles, mostly for shooting America’s greatest pop art icon. The fame-by-association got old, so much so that Makos swore he’d “never do another Warhol book.”
In a country whose most zealous patriots once pinned Mao buttons to their bare flesh, Warhol’s pop art rendering of the former political leader approaches blasphemy. But Makos is adamant that Warhol had no political agenda. “I think [Warhol’s] praising him. Look at the company he’s in.
He did Marilyn Monroe, he did Elvis …” he pauses, then his eyes brighten as he finds the right words to express his friend’s artistic motives. “He made Mao a pop star!”
27 September 2013
Andy Warhol called Christopher Makos "the most modern photographer in America." He also called him one of his closest friends for the last fourteen years of his life. Here, Makos shares with us that friendship and shows us, up-close, a fascinating portrait of Andy Warhol, his world, and his celebrity friends. Glamorous, eye-opening, extraordinary,
these photos show Warhol with such personalities as Debbie Harry, (Warhol's favorite pop star), Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Georgia O'Keeffe, Eugene Ionesco, Bill Murray, John Denver, and Liza Minelli. 127 pages; 136 b&w photographs; 7 x 5 inches.
18 September 1986
Interview Magazine Russia
Nicola Interviews Makos Interviews Nicola December 2012
Nicola Formichetti and Christopher Makos
Nicola Formichetti: Ok, since we're editing our shoot now, I have to ask the most important question: is the ass picture too much?
Christopher Makos: NO! This is Interview.
NF: Ok, that's why I love you and that's why I love the Russians. Because my friend always teased me about flat Japanese butt and we proved him wrong. Normally, I think a lot about my shoots. And honestly, after seeing your name and knowing your work I was terrified. Oh My God! This guy is too famous.
CM: Stop it! I had the same feeling. Because nowadays when you work with magazines it's too many people involved. Great paintings are not done by committee and great art is not done by groups.
NF: You should see some of my call sheets with like 100 people on them...
CM: Maybe that's a great stimulus package for the economy, but I'm not a great economist. I like my photo shoots to be with my subject matter and no one else. I kicked people out in the past.
NF: When I saw your photos, I realized I just had to turn up with my own bag of rags and a pair of scissors. Normally, I have a room full of clothes and more make-up and hair people than you can count. Sure enough, I took off my pants in minutes and felt so comfortable.
CM: These days photographers also create big spectacle to justify huge invoices. Everything has to big, coffee table has to be imported, and everything has to look fancy. But I manufactured my life and work so I stay sane.
NF: A lot of times when I work with big corporate clients, they want the big lights. As many as possible, because they want to feel like they're actually paying for something grand. But I'm so happy that you GET it!
CM: What's not too get? We should do this once a month...in different countries. What was cool in working with you is that we both knew that we were done.
NF: Yea, magazines tend to brainwash you like that we credits, dozens of looks and styles. I love your idea of repetition.
CM: Yes, my Lady Warhol book basically just features 356 pictures of Andy in 5 different wigs. The only difference is with the body language. With Andy is was all about the hands. He was so frail and shy. But with you, it's not about Lady Gaga and you. It's really all about you. You came to the table and then you danced on that damn table.
NF: I used you as my mirror, because we had none in your studio. And it was great.
CM: Yea, mirrors are only fun when you're having sex. Though I produce my books in Spain, because Americans are weird about sex. They don't talk about it, and then we see Viagra commercials every five minutes. It's a strange culture.
NF: One of my inspirations for the shoot were the Wall Street protestors here in New York. One of my assistants Prince marched to Times Square this morning and the video that he sent me was insane. He was wearing the same Kill Me t-shirt.
CM: It's about time his kids speak up!
NF: What's great about this whole thing is that these kids represent 99% and fighting against the 1% and this still feels like an underdog story.
CM: These kids have also kind become of celebrities today. The notion of fame so much have changed so much these days. What do real stars do these days?
NF: I have no idea! When Interview launched was it supposed to have been a celebrity magazine?
CM: The real truth? Andy wanted to go to movie screenings and no one would invite him. So he started a magazine so people would invite him to premiers...
NF: That's genius. It's like how I wanted to become a fashion editor because no one would invite me to fashion shows. I just wanted a damn ticket.
CM: Eventually Andy's entourage grew too, but reality it was too many people. He had like 30-40 people working for them and it was a monthly rag at the time. He didn't need that many people. But he believed that all these people would promote him and the magazine. And then he would walk up and down Madison handing these things out..
NF: I'm sure he had them pre-signed too?
CM: Of course! I used to have stacks of them here until I put them in the garbage. Then someone told me that I was crazy and told me to Google their worth. So I guess they were valuable. But I don't like living in the past. I'm so happy to work with you right now, and living in the present. This is my moment right now with YOU. I'll always be doing my thing.
NF: Same for Gaga I think too. If she suddenly won't be famous tomorrow, she'll still be doing her thing in some dirty gay bar.
CM: I never did in my life for money. Even Andy always teased me about my business skills. But money comes when you're happy in what you're doing. But if you want cash right, go be a boring banker.
NF: Tell me about it...I'm like the worst accountant ever. Someone always has to handle my finances. By the way, how did you come to New York, Chris?
CM: I had a very screwy family: a crazy Italian mother, a soldier boy father who turned out to be gay, and a surrounding Mexican neighborhood in California. I never knew what gay was because I went to Catholic school. Then I met this guy who just bought a brand new Convertible and liked to smoke pot and was going to New York for a road trip. We made twenty stops, and he basically gave me a blowjob at every possible national monument. I got to New York and I thought what I've done was awful. I stayed by myself at Warwick Hotel and basically checked out before I had to pay the bill in three days. To this day, I'm afraid to go past the hotel. They recently had a fire, and I thought to myself...great!
NF: My first New York story was not as dramatic, but still memorable. I came with my dad and my brother when I was 15. We're were walking on Broadway, and three thugs attacked us and too all our money, and all our wallets. I was shocked at the time and my Dad made me promise not to tell our mom. But still, my dream was always to come here.
CM: I know you're addicted to your iPhone. Who's more influential in your
life: Gaga or Steve Jobs?
NF: I'm always holding an iPhone. It's this and a cigarette. My dream is to have a magazine, just for the iPhone.
CM: The digital magazines or elaborate blogs haven't really figured out this format yet.
NF: No, they haven't. Everything needs to be bigger in graphics, kind of like my grandmother's huge cell phone with big types and big slogan.
CM: One thing is for sure. Luxury books are not going anywhere. You can't translate it to iPads. Some of the middle stuff doesn't need to exist. Like who need Vanity Fair? It's like a tabloid full of people's bad times. What good has emerged like this is that now we have Twitter stars like Ashton Kutcher or Justin Beiber, who has turned into a lesbian these days.
NF: Oh, what a beautiful lesbian!
CM: Are they styling him to look androgynous?
NF: I just worked with him. I think he'll turn into next Britney Spears. And he has the most flawless skin I've ever seen.
CM: Andy would be obsessed with Twitter. He was obsessed with repetition and multiples. He took uniquely American things he would just blow them up. The scary part is that how alive he is now. He's still dominating the art world completely.
NF: How much did his paintings sell for at the time?
CM: Portraits would only go for $25,000, while people like Hockney and Rauschenberg would charge ten times more for commissions. It used to bug him. He could never got a review...
NF: That's so wonderful and comforting to hear. Fuck journalists!
CM: It must be weird for you that for the first time you have to be subjected to reviews because of Mugler. There's too much stuff out there because it could kill you alive. I would never personally want to be at very top.
NF: That's why I never wanted to be a fashion designer because you become a sandbag for critique. I'm too scared to read reviews.
CM: You can read it but you don't have to give a damn! There are more reviews these days, because of all the bloggers our there..
NF: Thousands. But because there are so many of them, they're all the same. It's hard to tell Suzy Menkes apart from a blogger from Mexico. I do like that sometimes I'm on the same level as a blogger stylist too sometimes. And I love that bloggers sit front row at fashion shows.
CM: It must drive editors crazy!
NF: They hate it! They feel like they worked too hard for twenty years to sit in third row behind guys like Bryan Boy or Tommy Ton. But at the same time, I have to do Mugler for me and only me. I can't do a show to please journalists. But why they even have to write a bad review?
CM: If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. But a lot of these people have to make stars of themselves by writing nasty things. But sometimes you can become a star by writing joyous things. Maybe I'm naïve, but I've never been to been to a bad fashion show. They're too much fun to not enjoy them!
NF: Suzy Menkes did right about me "It's doesn't matter what I think of him because he'll just do his own thing and become bigger and bigger". And I was like: ok, cool!
CM: Do you read your horoscope?
NF: Of course. I obsess over Susan Miller and Astrologyzone.com. She private messaged me once on Twitter and I almost fainted with happiness.
CM: What's in your refrigerator?
NF: I have the cleanest kitchen in New York because I don't cook anything. I was spoiled with an Italian father who was the best chef and mom who made the most delicious Japanese food ever. So I just know how to eat stuff. My fridge is full of San Pellegrino and Japanese water.
CM:A lot of kids came by to take pictures with you at the pop-up shop. Do you feel like you're famous?
NF: Those kids were kind of like my digital friends. So, I recognized pretty much all right away. People wanted to sign my magazines. And I was like: "Are you crazy. I don't want to ruin your magazine!" But then I realized they were like 16, so it must have been a terrifying experience to approach me, even though I feel the least important celebrity in the world. But it was nice for kids to appreciate what I do. But then some cried. And I couldn't understand that...
CM: Because you're pop star!
NF: (laughs) I don't think of my projects in terms of success. It's more like jerking off. Doing it, cleaning up, and off to the next thing.
26 April 2012
IN THE VAULT: Event planner Barton G. Weiss’ new magazine Vault is dedicated to the art of being social. High-minded as that might sound, editorial director Glenn Albin said the 238-page debut May issue is a mashup of socializing, entertainment and fashion. “This is not in any way about decorating or how to improve your social life,” he said.
As a Vault contributor, Makos is already drumming up his next assignment. The photographer plans to put to use some of the 72 shots he took of Tom Ford at the age of 16, when the yet-to-be-designer was someone passing in and out of Warhol’s Factory. Makos and Solberg, who collaborate professionally as “The Hilton Brothers,” will also be shooting on the streets of Tokyo, Berlin and Moscow for the magazine when they travel to those cities.
11 April 2012
Of course, when Tennesse Williams found his beloved dog in a closet, he blew up, and that was the end of my assistantship.
“I was hanging out with artists, writers, poets in the West Village, and become friends with the political writer Dotson Rader, who was a very close friend to Tennessee Williams.
At that point in my New York life, I would take any interesting job, and the idea of being the assistant to Tennessee Williams,one of America’s greatest play wrights, was so appealing, so cool.
“If you ever speak to somebody and they say they can remember, then they weren’t at Studio 54, because most of them were so f*cked up. We were high on everything. Our group of people were so involved; it was really just about the moment. Enjoying the moment.”
04 June 2013