Over the next few weeks, BlackBook will be rolling out an online series of exclusive, never before seen images of pop art icon and ultimate fame whore Andy Warhol.
The images are part of the exhibitÂ Before They Were Famous: Behind The Lens of William John Kennedy, (on view through May 29) at galleryÂ Site/109Â in New York.
The photos (like the one to the left of Warhol sandwiched between canvases of the Birmingham Race Riots) were taken by photographerÂ William John Kennedy, one of the first photographers to capture Warhol in his early days as an artist. Â They’ve sat untouched for over 50 years, until Kennedy uncovered them within his archives and decided to release them.
The fact that these early images of iconic American artists happened isnâ€™t the exciting part, necessarily. Itâ€™s that the stars aligned â€“ literally â€“ to create these amazingly early, naÃ¯ve portraits of the artists with their own workÂ before they were famous. â€œThat would be like us going to the Lower East Side and finding, out of the hundreds of artists, the two rising stars, with their work, choosing it, and then all of the sudden in the future becoming something so,â€ said Michael Huter, founder ofÂ Kiwi Arts GroupÂ who produced the show, â€œallowing them to sit in a box for fifty years, and then showing them to the world. Itâ€™s so off the charts crazy!