Andy Warhol was a compulsive Polaroid shooter, carrying a camera everywhere he went for many years. He was especially fond of a cheapo camera called the Big Shot, intended solely to make waist-up portraits from about four feet away. (You brought your subject into focus by making little half-steps toward and away from your subject, in a maneuver known as the Big Shot Shuffle.) Everyone’s framed the same way in a Big Shot photo. Yet when Andy shot them, he turned that constraint into a virtue. You focus on the face and pose (and occasionally the cleavage) rather than composition or any other qualities, since there’s not much else to see.

'Andy Warhol: Pia Zadora,' 1983; Polacolor ER; 4-1/4 x 3-3/8 in.; gift of the The Andy Warhol Center for the Visual Arts. © The Andy Warhol Center for the Visual Arts.

The University of California at Berkeley’s museum has a show of those Polaroid pictures on view right now, and it’s up through May 20. My millions of northern-California readers need to hop into their cars and get over there immediately. Slideshow at the Huffington Post will have to do the job if you, like me, are out of Prius range.

Leave a Reply

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.
Website Apps