Polaroids & Andy Warhol

One day on my never ending online journey to find and explore new galleries I wrote an email to one that hasn’t been even opened yet. But they got this interesting magazine published and I was wondering if that magazine can be picked up and read in the gallery. Sure!

A month ago that German Gallery opened in London. Galerie BASTIAN opened in Berlin in 2007, and has now 12 years later a space in Mayfair, London. There are a lot of “Bs” here, I know and they could have chosen a place in Brixton, but when I entered the small gallery space on Davies Street I found its simplicity and elegance definitively in sync with Mayfair.

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The opening evening was on a Friday instead of a Thursday. The advantage for me, a Monday to Friday worker, is that I felt more relaxed knowing the weekend was just about to start. On a Friday, I am indeed in a different mood than I would be on a Thursday evening. Speaking of mood, I was super excited to see the polaroid photographs by Andy Warhol! Not only have I an obsession with polaroids and would probably cover a lot of walls with them in my house (well, if I were the owner of the walls…) but I was also eager to get a glimpse of his past, Warhol’s past! Because he’s so iconic it felt almost unreal to be able to see his polaroid collection. But thanks to The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. and Galerie Bastian we Londoners can admire them until 13 April.

I waited in the small queue in front of the gallery and felt double home hearing all this German around me. I’ve been living in London for seven years now, and this here is my home. Though I never mind having some more Germans around me. After listening to some chats here and there, we went in and then there they were! Over 60 polaroids accurately hung up in brown square frames. If you have ever observed me at a preview, I really check the art first and take my time. It was not easy. The small gallery room rapidly filled with more and more and more and more people. Huh, let’s squeeze us all in. It’s been a well organised opening. Wine was served and people of all age groups seemed to meet there and had a good time. It was a bit overcrowded for such a small gallery, I must admit, and that’s why I left early. But it’s a great first exhibition of Galerie Bastian in London, well done! I really like it and highly recommend to see it!

Here is what I’ve taken away from exploring Warhol and the topic of his photography:

  • Warhol’s photographs portray the beginnings of an era and society defined by image and illusion. Which today is defined by selfies.

  • He spent most of his time with a camera in his pocket, ready to take pictures of the faces surrounding him.

  • At his time over a million polaroids were being taking a year.

  • The way Warhol used polaroids as a visual diary feels like the ultimate Instagram prelude.

  • I was surprised by seeing a polaroid of Paloma Picasso.

  • However my favourite polaroid is the one of Jean-Michel.

  • Start capturing my own great friends on polaroid more often, thinking of a creative way how to “collect” them.

  • Putting this camera here on my wish list.

Big thanks to Kinga for inviting me to this preview! Can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

Andy Warhol Polaroid Pictures is on show until 13 April 2019 at
BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, London W1K 3DW www.bastian-gallery.com/en/.