New York’s 1980’s art world, then chock a block with Warhol’s infamous Factory, along with regular sightings of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cindy Sherman on the prowl, is now somewhat clouded by today’s hipster galleries that dominate Chelsea. Yet that particular chapter in history can be relived in all its glory via the photographer Jeanette Montgomery Barron’s scrapbook-like tome, My Years in the 1980s New York Art Scene, which is packed with her snaps, shot in the studios of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and other now notable artists, as well as gallery posters and Village Voice reviews.
'I was fortunate to be in the center of it all,' says Barron who now resides in Kent, Connecticut, where her husband heads up James Barron Art. At the tender age of 24, Barron was introduced by the prominent Zurich dealer Bruno Bischofberger to a wide range of artists in the Big Apple. From there, armed with her Hassleblad much like Robert Mapplethorpe, she captured the lower Manhattan art scene. In between hitting gallery openings and countless dinner parties, Barron also modeled for both painter Alex Katz and fashion photographer David Seidner. Both of their works are included in her latest book.
Despite the intimate photo-documentation of Andy Warhol’s tête à têtes with Jean-Michel Basquiat, and captures of David Salle and others in their studios, Barron is far from just a social photographer. Not only have more than 30 of her images been acquired by the Max Mara private museum Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, her work is also included in the permanent collections of Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Andy Warhol Museum.