In the nearly 23 years since Andy Warhol’s death, a veritable Factory’s worth of people have claimed that they worked by his side during the glory years of the 1960s, when he was revolutionizing art with his silk-screens and surface-luster vision of life.
Billy Name, who lives in a neatly kept apartment in a run-down house near the train station here, has never had to make that case for himself because his photographs have always done it for him. For seven years, beginning in late 1963, when Warhol gave him a 35-millimeter Honeywell Pentax camera, Mr. Name was the resident photographer of the Factory, capturing the perpetual swirl of superstars, celebrities and hangers-on.
He left in 1970, traumatized by the shooting of Warhol by Valerie Solanas two years earlier and disillusioned by the increasingly businesslike direction of Warhol’s career. And in the years since, Mr. Name’s income, such as it is — he describes himself as an anarchic Buddhist who has never cared much about money — has mostly come from magazine editors, curators, filmmakers and others who pay him for the use of his 1960s images, produced from several thousand negatives. The pictures provide rare documentation of nearly every aspect of Warhol’s world at the so-called Silver Factory on East 47th Street in Manhattan and at the studio’s later incarnation near Union Square.