Eccentric, multidisciplinary artist, icon of the pop art movement, a guru of modernity... Andy Warhol has passed into history as one of the most important creators in American history and one of the most influential of the entire 20th century. Warhol knew how to move between the different spheres of society like no one else, connecting with aristocrats, artists and intellectuals at the same time as he mixed with outsiders, such as models, drug addicts and the odd folk he met in New York.
One of the artists with whom he struck up a close friendship was photographer Christopher Makos, a former apprentice to Man Ray whom Warhol described as "the most modern photographer in America," and the pair collaborated on various projects together.
Now one of them, the photography exhibition Lady Warhol, has been chosen to inaugurate Málaga's new La Térmica cultural center, where it is on display until March 16. Never before seen in Spain, the exhibition comprises 50 of the more than 300 snapshots Makos took of a chameleonic Warhol in the summer of 1981 in his New York studio.
We were walking along 57th street and we saw a very elegant wig store"
"We were walking along 57th street and we saw a very elegant wig store," explains Makos. "We bought seven in order to get going on a project that we had in mind called Altered Image."
The show brings together a series of portraits of Warhol in drag with the aim of prompting reflection on the concept of a changing identity. "It was like putting a mask on him, since even the most masculine man could subject himself to an experience such as this and bring out the feminine side we all have," Makos says.
For the new cultural center, the photographer only has words of praise. "It is a free space, for creation, that will make everyone who comes here think."
Run by Málaga's provincial government with a budget of 400,000 euros, La Térmica occupies the old 13,000-square-meter Civic Center and aims to be a place for contemporary cultural creation and production, both national and international, explains its director, Salomón Castiel.