BILLY NAME

 


     
   
     
 

Billy Name, (born William Linich, 22 February 1940 in Poughkeepsie, New York), is an American photographer, filmmaker and lighting designer. He was the archivist of the Warhol Factory, from 1964 to 1970. His brief romance and subsequent friendship with Andy Warhol led to substantial collaboration on Warhol's work, including his films, paintings and sculpture. Linich became Billy Name among the coterie known as the Warhol Superstars. He was responsible for "silverizing" Warhol's New York studio, the Factory, where he lived until 1970. His photographs of the scene at the Warhol Factory and of Warhol himself are important documents of the Pop art era.

Billy Name began his career as a lighting designer in the theater in 1960, while working as a waiter at Serendipity 3. His first apprenticeship was with Nick Cernovich, who had won an Obie Award for best lighting. "It was the end of the period of the romantic avant-garde bohemia, when artists kept younger artists and a male artist would always have a young man around." Name also played music in the Theatre of Eternal Music.

When Andy Warhol became too busy making films to take still photographs at The Factory, he turned the task over to Billy Name. Prior to his association with Warhol, Name had worked in theatrical lighting design. Under the tutelage of Nick Cernovich, he co-designed the lighting for the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in 1960. Name later designed lighting at Judson Memorial Church, New York Poets Theater and the Living Theater, illuminating the likes of dancers Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham and Freddy Herko. Name significantly influenced Warhol's work. As Warhol would later explain: "[He] had a manner that inspired confidence. He gave the impression of being generally creative, he dabbled in lights and papers and artists materials...I picked up a lot from Billy." (Warhol & Hackett, The Warhol Diaries)
Name lived and worked at the Factory, having taken up residence in a closet at the back of the studio, at 231 East 47th Street. With the gift of Warhol's 35 mm single-lens reflex Honeywell Pentax camera, along with its operating manual, Name taught himself the technical aspects of photography. He converted one of the Factory bathrooms into a darkroom, where he mastered methods of processing and developing film. These newly acquired skills, combined with his background in lighting and experimental approach to his work, resulted in a body of work which captured the "silver years" at the Factory (1963–70).


Name's close friendship with Andy Warhol and his role in creating Warhol's artistic environment provided him with a unique perspective of the Factory, with a particular focus on a core group of "superstars", who largely improvised before the camera. Name's understanding of theater and lighting was an important influence on the look and ambience of The Factory and of Warhol's early films.
Name recently collaborated with Shepard Fairey with his photograph of Nico, singer with the Velvet Underground and part of the social circle of Warhol's Factory.

In 2001, the United States Postal Service used one of Billy Name's portraits of Warhol when it issued a commemorative stamp of the artist.

Billy is a frequent contributor to New York based photo arts magazine Lid.

 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 

 

 

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