Ever wondered where Andy Warhol conceptualized and made his iconic Pop art masterpieces? Allow us to take you back in time and into The Factory, Warhol’s New York City studio and hip haven where all the action happened and his so-called Superstars inspired him.
Between 1962 and 1984, Andy Warhol had three different locations for his studio: the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street in Midtown Manhattan, the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West, and 22 East 33rd Street. It was where his workers would make lithographs and assemble silkscreens, making its moniker as “The Factory” very apt.
However, these weren’t the only things Warhol’s studio was used for. While silkscreening was being done in one area, screen testing and filming would be done in another. These screen tests, a series of silent film portraits, featured Factory regulars, celebrities, friends, guests, or anyone else Warhol thought had “star potential.”
The original Factory was called by its frequent visitors as the Silver Factory for its tin foil wrappings, silver paint, and also the silver balloons Warhol brought in and left floating around the ceiling. It was decorated by Warhol’s friend, Billy Name, whose apartment was decorated the same way. The Pop artist liked how it was done and asked his friend to do the same for his studio.
The Factory was more than just the place where Warhol worked; it was also his breeding ground of ideas, where he surrounded himself with a menagerie of people who served as his inspirations, collaborators, and movie stars: fellow artists, musicians, actresses, socialites, drug addicts, drag queens, free thinkers, and many others. All of them later came to be known as Warhol’s Superstars.
Warhol would also often hold parties in The Factory, much to the dismay of his landlord. Even so, these parties gained his studio its reputation as a hip hangout, one of the places to be in the 1960s. If you were invited in one of these Factory parties, you were probably close to the famed artist or someone with “star quality.”
You must be curious about what a busy day (or night) was like for Andy Warhol, his Factory, and his Superstars, so without further ado, allow us to walk you through some photos of the renowned Pop artist’s equally iconic studio: