Andy Warhol was a social animal. Ravenous to get in with the cool crowd, Warhol's life's work surrounded around social interaction. (Although his cool crowd was way cooler than your cool crowd because Yoko Ono was in it.)
Yet Warhol was not only concerned with cozying up to the next big thing. He also was social in the sense that he loved people: their mystery, their ability to transcend into mythical realms of power, their ultimate vulnerability. Warhol's photographs convey the most complex possibilities of a human being in the simplest medium: a single, unreproducible snapshot.
Warhol's photographs show the cult of celebrity in all its glory as figures whose influences live on today are captured as nearly divine figures floating in pure white. Yet as they are worshipped they are also unmasked in their translation onto a small, flimsy Polaroid. His black-and-white photographs straddle the line between paparazzi shot and family memory. Warhol captures icons at their most human, although it remains ambiguous whether Warhol is more insider or outsider to these personal moments.
The Polaroids add a new dimension to Warhol's genius skill of navigating fame through simplicity, and making the simple famous. His personal mementos are his altarpieces, and they will be yours as well.
"Andy Warhol: Photographer" will show at Danziger Gallery until April 21.