Andy Warhol’s Factory may be long gone, but you can find a treasure trove of art inspired by his presence in Playa Vista. Through Dec. 22, Runway Playa Vista’s Street Art House hosts “The Lost Warhols,” a collection of photography and artwork with an astounding tie to the late great innovator of 20th century pop art.
At age 19, artist Karen Bystedt, then a film student at NYU, reached out to Warhol and asked him if he would sit for a photography session with her. Amazingly he said yes, and soon after Bystedt was at the offices of Interview magazine (Warhol’s brainchild) photographing the artist. That was 1982, just five years before Warhol’s death.
“I was able to get a different side of Andy that I don’t see in any other photographs, and I think that’s what makes these photographs special,” says Bystedt as she shows me a few of the images that — lost for decades and rediscovered in 2011 — have now been turned into mixed media collaborations with other artists. Among the works on view: A black-and-white portrait of Warhol embellished with a shimmering gold skull by Bystedt and Peter Tunney, a pimped-out Warhol covered in graffiti by artist King Saladeen and a seated Warhol transmogrified into a wall
of ceramic tiles, dotted with tiny versions of the Campbell’s Soup cans he made famous.
“I think he would love it,” says Bystedt of the transformations of Warhol’s image. “That was his dream. He loved stars and now he’s the star.”
“The Lost Warhols” are on view through Dec. 22 at Street Art House, 12775 Millennium Dr., Unit 115, Runway Playa Vista. Visit streetarthouse.com.