“Lost then Found” has been the tagline for rare portraits of Andy Warhol taken in 1981 by Daily Express photographer, Steve Wood. However, “forgotten” rings truer than “lost.” This might be surprising to those who immediately recognize this iconic figure. While many articles paint these images as being hidden away, in reality Wood abandoned them in a drawer, forgotten until his colleague David Munns opened the file cabinet and looked under ‘W.’
When interviewed about the discovery of these forgotten images, Steve Wood admits that he “was not a huge fan of Warhol’s artistic output,” and as soon as he realized the photographs he took of this famous artist were not applicable to the article he was writing at the time, he filed them away. Perhaps it was Wood’s own disinterest with the notoriously aloof artist that allowed him to capture a side of Warhol that has rocked audiences who are glimpsing these photographs for the first time.
Wood ties his own interest and inspiration to the photographs by adding a sunflower, which harkens back to the Impressionists, most notably Van Gogh. The sunflower is held stiffly However, Wood’s own indifference to the artist, as well as this whimsical addition, may substantiate the claims that these photographs are raw, capturing “Warhol’s humanity” as well as his vulnerability and sensitivity. Wood was able to depict the artist with his purple backpack, engaging stare and giant sunflower in a way that no one else had been able to portray. After thirty years of collecting dust, the photographs were put on display, showcasing a new insight and depth to this artist that fascinated thousands.
Corbis was honored to represent these images on our website. View the full gallery here