Brigid Berlin was born into the high society of New York City. Her father was Richard Berlin, the head of the Hearst media empire for over 30 years, and her mother was socialite Muriel Johnson Berlin. Growing up, it was not unusual for Brigid Berlin to be exposed to prominent political figures such as Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson and celebrities such as Joan Crawford and Clark Gable. But in 1964 she would meet artist Andy Warhol, and it would set the tone for her life for years to come.
Berlin became a key member of Warhol’s Factory, starring in numerous low-budget art films and becoming a fixture of New York’s art scene. She also had a penchant for making sound recordings, one of which would end up being the Velvet Underground’s first live album, “Live at Max’s Kansas City.” Like Warhol, Berlin also became obsessed with making pictures with a Polaroid camera. She mostly documented life around her, which means that the pictures include many of the key figures in Warhol’s Factory, including actor Dennis Hopper, musician Lou Reed, artist Paloma Picasso and the poet Jim Carroll.
For many years these pictures have remained unseen, kept in storage boxes. But recently Berlin granted unlimited access to her archives for the book, “Brigid Berlin Polaroids” (Reel Art Press, 2015), providing an unprecedented and rarely seen glimpse into those raucous days with Andy Warhol and friends.
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