Work / Photography

Billy Name’s enigmatic images of Warhol’s Silver Factory and The Velvet Underground

Andy Warhol and Lou Reed are undoubtedly some of the most fascinating, enigmatic characters of the 20th Century. Even the ubiquity of a Marilyn face print, or that 1997 Perfect Day charity cover can’t change that. So when we hear about another chance to glimpse inside the famous Factory walls, we’re still rather excited – especially when that glimpse arrives through the images of Billy Name. Billy was Warhol’s brief lover, long-term friend and celebrated archivist, documenting the glamourous and surreal goings on of the Silver Factory, which he was commissioned to decorate by the artist in 1964. This decor took the form of coating the East 47th Street space almost entirely in silver foil or silver spray paint – hence its name – and creating a futuristic-looking playground for talents like The Velvet Underground and Edie Sedgwick. Billy’s images have been gathered for a new London exhibition opening this week, and the Silver Age series is documentary photography in its finest form: at times playful and spontaneous, at others staged, but always viscerally beautiful.

Billy Name: The Silver Age is on show at Serena Morton II Gallery in London from 30 September – 23 October. The book is published by Reel Art Press"


Billy Name: Andy Warhol on Payphone at World’s Fair, 1964
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press


Billy Name: Andy Warhol with Brillo and Ruby the Cat, 1964
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press


Billy Name: Andy Warhol with Giant Baby Ruth Bars, 1966
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press


Billy Name: Nico, 1967
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press


Billy Name: Nico, Chelsea Girl, 1967
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press


Billy Name: Regency Cinema, Chelsea Girls Marquee, 1966
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press


Billy Name: The Velvet Underground, 1967
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press


Billy Name: Susan Bottomley, International Velvet, 1966
© Billy Name / Reel Art Press