Art

Rare, Possibly Groundbreaking Footage From Andy Warhol’s Factory Emerges

Is this "the Holy Grail of Warhol arcana"?

Andy Warhol
Bianca Jagger, artist Andy Warhol and Jack Ford seated on the Truman Balcony following a tour of White House for Jagger and Warhol.
Gerald R. Ford Library
By Tobias Carroll / March 22, 2020 6:00 am

2020 has been a big year for Andy Warhol — including, but not limited to, a major retrospective of his work at the Tate Modern. Many have pondered Warhol’s relationship to the idea of celebrity, and new sides of his work are still being explored. But for dedicated aficionados of all things Warhol-related, that might just be the tip of the iceberg.

Page Six reports that rare footage from Warhol’s Factory, shot by Ronnie Cutrone, has recently surfaced. Among those who have seen it? Writer and podcast host George Wayne, whose reaction suggests the footage is a major find. “It’s insane stuff,” said Wayne. “It’s the Holy Grail of Warhol arcana!”

The report at Page Six offers a few additional details, including the fact that the footage includes Lou Reed, Diana Vreeland and Paloma Picasso. But that’s not all:

The footage also includes John Waters, Mick Jagger and an X-rated scene of artist Victor Hugo.

It’s worth mentioning that this evidently does not contain an X-rated scene of the 19th century French novelist Victor Hugo; one day, perhaps, that will surface in previously-unseen footage as well.

Cutrone himself died in 2013 at the age of 65. His obituary in The New York Times offered a sense of the work he did for Warhol:

A fixture of the Factory, as each of Warhol’s Manhattan studios was known in turn, Mr. Cutrone took an evocative series of stereoscopic color photographs, never exhibited, that document daily life there.

Page Six reports that Cutrone left the footage to photographer Roger Moenks in his will. Moenks had interviewed Cutrone years before for Shooting Milk, a documentary project about the Factory. The New York Times described some of Cutrone’s anecdotes in an article published after Cutrone’s death. As with most everything related to Warhol and those in his orbit, they’re far from boring.

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