The Factory with Bob Dylan
It was Andy Warhol’s NYC Mecca, a bastion of the eccentric, the hip cradle for artsy types who would go on to be known as the Warhol superstars. With a blunt audacity that might carry shock value even in this day and age, The Factory was downright outlandish in the early 1960’s. Noted for its groundbreaking parties and revolving door of influential artists, The Factory, at its essence, was a haven for Warhol’s brand of pop art. John Cale, a Factory regular, mused "It wasn't called the Factory for nothing. It was where the assembly line for the silk- screens happened. While one person was making a silkscreen, somebody else would be filming a screen test. Every day, something new."
Rolling Stone Brian Jones & Warhol 1966
As Warhol’s legend grew, he was slaving away nonstop on his paintings. To create his art, Warhol employed silk-screens in order to mass-produce images (as capitalist corporations mass produce consumer goods). To keep the machine running, Warhol assembled his Superstars: drag queens, adult film actors, musicians, drug addicts, free-thinkers and socialites. It was these Superstars who turned the now-demolished, dingy building into an iconic legend.
When not painting inside the all-silver interior (made so with tin foil, paint and balloons), The Factory was an anchor in which to make films, commissions, sculptures and shoes. It also served as a bohemian den of sorts, a joint where celebrities such as Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali and Truman Capote hung their artistic hats. Reed’s "Walk on the Wild Side", his best known song, is about the superstars he hung out with at the Factory. He mentions Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, and a few others directly.
Warhol’s now-treasured film library, at the time considered obscene and unlawful, was almost entirely shot at his second home. In an unfortunate attempt at dimming Warhol’s shining light, he was shot himself inside the walls of The Factory. It was the home of the Soup Cans and the Marilyn Monroe prints, and the birthplace of pop art. The Factory was many things to many people, a blurry dynamo that followed no rules and skewed the line. More than a drab dwelling, it was Warhol, it was the Superstars, and in the annals of art, it was reminiscent of the society of the era it forged its name in.
The Factory was, simply, a revolution.