Brigid Berlin's Collection of Polaroids Is Finally Here
“Hostile debutante” and “She was never a groupie, always an insider” are among the many colorful descriptions of artist Brigid Berlin by cult filmmaker John Waters. It goes without saying that Berlin had a big personality—which will no doubt be front and center in Brigid Berlin: Polaroids, a book chronicling her work that’s being released today by Reel Art Press. Included in the highly exclusive book (there are only 100 signed and numbered copies) are her intimate photographs taken at parties of iconic artists and debutantes from her inner circle such as Patti Smith, Diana Vreeland, Richard Avedon, Paloma Picasso, and many more. This exclusive book is limited to only 100 signed and numbered copies.
Berlin was the best friend of Andy Warhol and, as the daughter of a New York socialite (mother) and Hearst chairman (father), was rather used to being in the spotlight. Yet above all else, Berlin was a photographer wholly adept at capturing her mesmerizing surroundings. Using a Polaroid 360 camera, Berlin frequently snapped multi-exposure prints of her closest comrades. And while Warhol’s collection of Polaroid pictures are certainly more notable, Berlin was equally fixated on documenting her life through photography.
Berlin met Warhol in 1964 and quickly became a frequent fixture in his posse and at The Factory. She appeared in several of Warhol’s films including Chelsea Girls and Ciao! Manhattan. Although primarily known for her daily habit of recording and photographing her everyday life, Berlin is also celebrated for her more deliberate works, namely her “Tit Prints,” in which she dipped her bare breasts into paint and then pressed them onto a canvas. On certain occasions, such as at the Gramercy International Art Fair, she would make her “Tit Prints” live in front of an audience, fusing visual and performance art.
To call Berlin and Warhol ahead of their time would be an understatement. One could even call them pioneers of the selfie, as Berlin once attested to herself. “I invented selfies,” she said. “I’d put in a roll of film. And then I would suck in my cheeks to look like a model. And then snap, snap, snap.”
Images via Filthy Dreams, British Journal of Photography, and Reel Art Press.
Brigid Berlin: Polaroids will be released today via Reel Art Press.