W.J. Kennedy

b. 1930

In 1964, William John Kennedy was a young, daring New York based photographer who was captivated by the vibrant art scene. In addition to his own artistry with a camera, he was an avid sportsman and expert scuba diver, with great interpersonal skills to put his subjects at ease. Kenndy accomplished other photo sessions with leading artists of the 60s, including Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Marisol Escobar, Ultra Violet and Taylor Mead.

 

Kennedy met Warhol through Robert Indiana. This was a time before Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, when he selectively received admirers, artists, musicians, editors, actors and socialites into The Factory.  Warhol not only gave Kennedy entrée into his world, but surrendered himself to the photographer's own creative expression with the legendary artist. The photo sessions organized by Kennedy and acted out by Warhol in imaginative, spur of the moment settings capture the atmosphere of The Factory, always abuzz with activity. Kennedy would contemplate where or how he would want to photograph Warhol and sometimes organize photo sessions (such as the fire-escape images with the two self-portrait attached to create a sandwich board to be worn by Warhol).  Many of the photographs epitomize the definitive image of Warhol as an artist in unique and creative contexts.

WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC presented in 2005 a premiere photography exhibition of the photographs.

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