Remembering Billy Name
July 22, 2016
February 22nd 1940 – July 18th, 2016
It is with tremendous sadness that we would like to announce that our dear friend and iconic artist Billy Name has begun his next great adventure. We mourn the loss of this important cultural figure and are thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him. We express our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
In December 2014, Milk Gallery mounted his first solo exhibition. The show, Billy Name: The Silver Age, featured an extensive archive of Name’s photographs and ephemera of Warhol’s crew and collaborators during the Factory years. Black-and-white photos of Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Nico, and Bob Dylan loomed as large as their legacies.
Name was more than an on-site photographer. As a longtime friend of Andy Warhol, Name helped define the ethos of Warhol’s Factory, sheeting it in aluminum and silver spray paint. In a 2014 interview with Milk, he recalled his devotion to silverizing the building. “I painted everything silver, the stereo, the ceiling, the furniture, even the little Coca Cola bottles after we drank them.” He also spoke candidly on death, and on the value of the archive. After Andy was shot he told me, ‘Billy, when I die I hope you’re there to carry me to heaven.’ I wasn’t there and it made me feel sad. Not long after that Vincent Fremont called me and told me that Andy had saved all of my things in my silver trunk. My astrology books, my charts, my photographs and negatives, it all came back to me.” It is through Name’s photography that this era continues to live on as, in Name’s words, “ghost on film for the world.”
To generations, Name’s work offered a glimpse at the artistic eccentricity of Warhol and his clique. As members of the Warhol superstars fade away, the photos have taken on a elegiac air, but they will never lose their youthful energy, the spark of artists caught in a rush of inspiration.Billl