Instant Warhol takes us straight to Andy Warhol’s point of view, famous, fleeting, commercialised, constructed, in a series of his Polaroid photographs of people in the spotlight in the 1970s and 80s.
In a massive coup for the 2023 Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Instant Warhol will be exclusive on show, bringing a collection of 59 original Polaroid portraits of famous artists, performers, the influential and Andy Warhol himself to regional Victoria.
Arriving in Ballarat from 26 August to 22 October, Instant Warhol is a fascinating insight into the pop culture icon’s obsession with people, their charisma, and the fleeting nature of fame. The exhibition is a Ballarat International Foto Biennale exclusive and is only available to be seen during the Festival in Australia.
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Andy Warhol was a devotee of the Polaroid, taking thousands of photographs between 1958 – 1987. His snaps were both social documents and art; many of the images of people you see here were later turned into Warhol’s famous silk screen prints.
Instant Warhol will arrive in Ballarat in an intimate collaboration with the Brant Foundation in New York, and will show us Warhol’s understanding of the superficial nature of celebrity in American society, his obsession with the people behind the personas, and the fleeting nature of fame. Many of the more than 50 images show the line and expression of famous faces including Mick Jagger, Liza Minelli, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton, many of which would later be translated into Warhol’s iconic screen prints.
The exhibition is a fascinating social document of a time when celebrity, grittiness in the art world, New York, the Factory, Studio 54 and an expanding media scape were reimagining art, music, and popular culture.
Vanessa Gerrans, CEO of Ballarat International Foto Biennale described the intimate collaboration similar to reading Warhol’s diaries.
“These original Polaroids captured a moment in time and went on to identify our culture, our art form, our view of celebrity. Warhol was the inventor of the ‘superstar’ and it’s fascinating to take a moment to absorb these tiny snaps within our fast and furious scrolling world,” she says.
“People of all ages will enjoy this exhibition and mini-series of popular culture.”
Instant Warhol will be on display at Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard Street North. Ticketed.
Ballarat International Foto Biennale is on from 25 August to 22 October 2023. Full program of events, exhibitions and talks plus tickets available in July at ballaratfoto.org