Altered Images

ALTERED IMAGES by Christopher Makos
ALTERED IMAGES by Christopher Makos
ALTERED IMAGES by Christopher Makos
ALTERED IMAGES by Christopher Makos
ALTERED IMAGES by Christopher Makos
ALTERED IMAGES by Christopher Makos


Christopher Makos, Altered Images, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, 2/6/2014 – 3/8/2014

Christopher Makos was described by Andy Warhol as “the most modern photographer in America”. The exhibition, curated by Gianni Mercurio and produced by Madeinart in collaboration with the fashion brand Ports 1961, presented a selection of 62 photographs, recalling the artistic scene of the 70s and 80s in New York.

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These images are  a selection of iconic Makos images, many first published in early Makos books such as WHITE TRASH 1977 and WARHOL MAKOS 1989.

Studio 54, the Bowery music club CBGB and Andy Warhol’s 860 Broadway Factory were focal points of Makos’s  New York world of the 1970’s and 80’s, peopled by actors, artists, writers, musicians and unique characters that Makos boldly captured in his photography from this era.

During the 1970’s Makos worked for Rolling Stone Magazine and Circus Magazine, photographing musicians and the downtown club scene, including CBGB.  His “Musicians” file (images of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, David Johansen and Richard Hell collected from these commercial assignments) along with candid shots of friends like Debbie Harry and writer Victor Bockris, formed the core material of what became Makos’s  first book WHITE TRASH, published by Stonehill in 1977. Warhol admired the book, and asked Makos to art direct EXPOSURES, Warhol’s book of candid night-life photography. Makos worked in a small space in the back of the 860 Broadway Factory. With camera at the ready, Makos used the opportunity of working at the Factory to photograph Warhol and the people he worked with, (The Rolling Stones, Halston) painted portraits of, (Debbie Harry, Liza Minelli), invited for lunch (John Lennon).

During this period Warhol was also actively pursuing work as a model, and often “practiced” in front of Makos’s camera. The exhibition includes many such images. A close friendship developed between Makos and Warhol, and Warhol felt comfortable allowing Makos an unusually privileged access to Warhol’s life as an artist and as a private person.  They became regular traveling companions on vacation trips and on Warhol’s many business trips to France, Germany, England, and in 1982, to China.

During the 1980’s Makos began working more regularly in a studio, using medium format cameras, studio lighting systems and backdrops.  Included in the show are studio portraits of Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Warhol.

There were also presented 8 pictures, large size images, of the “Altered Images” series, realized in collaboration with Andy Warhol, to represent the changeable identity of the human being, as an homage to Man Ray’s shots, portraying Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego Rrose Selavy.

The first venue of the exhibition was the Carla Sozzani Gallery in Milan, from June 11th to August 3rd  2014. After Milan debut, MADEINART and PORTS 1961 took the exhibition in to 7 world capitals: New York, London, Paris (September 2014), then Tokyo (October 2014) Beijing and Shanghai (November 2014 – February 2015)

To celebrate this partnership, Fiona Cibani, the Creative Director of Ports 1961, designed a special capsule collection that captures the essence of Makos’ work, using as prints three of his “Altered Image Series” portraits of Warhol.

Taken in 1981 as a tribute to Man Ray’s photographs of Marcel Duchamp dressed as his female alter ego Rrose Selavy, these pictures are printed on the garments using an original superimposed technique on two fabrics, jersey and silk satin, to create a unique three-dimensional effect. T-shirts, sweatshirts and mini-dresses are embellished with large gold zippers on the hips and a white shirt detail that peeks out from beneath the hem, both iconic elements of Ports 1961 style.

The capsule collection, sold at 10 Corso Como during the period of the exhibit, has been presented in the other capitals at the same time as the exhibits. It has been also added one item created especially for each particular city, such as the biker jacket created for London and the cape exclusively designed for Shanghai.

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ANDY by Christopher Makos more than a friend

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