Fotografiska New York and Hedges Projects are continuing Pride month celebrations with the launch of “Andy Warhol Photographs,” an online exhibition of Warhol’s Polaroid photographs from the 1970s. The exhibition examines Warhol’s exploration of gender and identity through the series Sex Parts and Torsos and Ladies and Gentlemen. Many of his subjects from the two series were active in the LGBTQIA+ movement of the ’70s, which focused on equal rights and liberation.
Warhol spotlighted Black and Latinx models and drag queens in Ladies and Gentlemen. Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender activist and self-identified drag queen, was photographed as part of this series. Her name has been used recently to showcase how the Black Lives Matter movement is connected with Pride month and the modern gay rights movement. Her image will be highlighted on the exhibition website in its own section to celebrate her work as an activist as well as her cultural importance today.
The Sex Parts and Torsos series, on the other hand, features cropped images of nude male and female body parts from above and below the belt. These portrayals of intimate body parts blur the line between art and pornography. By depicting the body through extreme close-ups, Warhol allows no pictorial connection with the model. The underlying motive for the entire series may have been the ultimate acceptance of his sexuality.
Check out select works from “Andy Warhol Photographs” in the slideshow above. The exhibition will launch on Fotografiska’s website beginning June 29.