When Andy Warhol proclaimed in 1981, “I ́m not trying to look beautiful like Elizabeth Taylor, I ́m trying to show what it feels to be beautiful like Elizabeth Taylor“, he set another milestone within the exploration of Identity. Based on the tradition of Man Ray and Duchamp, Warhol used unexpected combinations of simple elements, thus slightly altered his appearance with make-up and a wig while otherwise remaining in his street clothes. With Christopher Makos behind the camera, the series 'Altered Image' was born.
On October 18th, the Berlin-based galerie hiltawsky will present the latest show by New York photographers Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg, a.k.a. The Hilton Brothers. This exhibition project is organized in partnership with art’otel berlin city center west.
With ”Andy Dandy”, a combined diptych of Makos ́ ”Altered Image” portraits of Warhol and Solberg ́s flower portraits, as heart of the exhibition, the show will feature around 30 colour photographs from three artistic identities: Makos, Solberg and the Hilton Brothers.
Christopher Makos (*1948 in Massachusetts), already famed as the long-time companion of Andy Warhol, apprentice of Man Ray, and portraitist of many twentieth century ́s icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, Warhol and Ray. Makos introduced Warhol to Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat and taught him to use his first camera. According to Warhol, Makos was the “most modern photographer in America“. In the exhibition 'Andy Dandy and Other works', he will show his fabulous portraits of international stars such as Mick Jagger, Nicola Formichetti and Jean Michel Basquiat.
Paul Solberg (*1969 in Minnesota), a rising photographic force, made his name with “Bloom“ in 2005, and today, has several books titles published under his name. His work has been shown in numerous exhibits in the U.S. and internationally, and since 2004, has been collaborating with Makos under the artistic identity The Hilton Brothers. Solberg will feature his ethereal backlit flower portraits alongside examples of a new take on classical portraiture, such as the celebrated portrait of Ai WeiWei in 2008, and the haunting soldiers in his “Service“ series.
The moniker The Hilton Brothers is derived from the Hilton Sisters, the 1930‘s Siamese- twin vaudeville stars. The Brothers explore the definition of collaboration, inspired by the ultimate collaboration, physical conjoinment. It’s the emersion of two strong visual identities into one singular narrative. A photographic language spoken in unison. Blurring and fusing two disparate styles, each work subtly commenting on the world today, or the escape from it.
Such examples are in the provoking series ”Andy Dandy”, or in the series ”Area 51”, and ”Speed”. Makos and Solberg, two important visual storytellers of our time, speak a unique language, both together and as individuals, for the viewer to unravel.