Warhol Repetition

Matt Miller
2 min readOct 27, 2018

I was excited to see the digitization and posting of some of the 130,000 Warhol exposures given to the Cantor Arts Center. Many of the photos are repeats, Warhol trying to get the right pose for a portrait or the right angle of a still life. But repetition doesn’t mean duplication. Each one has a slight variation, a head tilt or an eye movement that puts it someplace in between repetition and elaboration.

Contact sheet from http://cantorcollection.stanford.edu/Obj85025?sid=2966&x=334110

To demonstrate that in between space I think about stereographs and @mgiraldo’s NYPL Labs Stereogranimator. And then the additional work done by @ryanfb to create smoother transition (which I utilized to create these images).

But these images are different than stereographs, they are not designed to mimic human depth perception, different angels of the same scene. In these the subject is moving, slightly, the scene shifts around the subtle movements of the actor. There are also multiple frames that can be transitioned between in series. The results:

Warhol portrait from from http://cantorcollection.stanford.edu/Obj85025?sid=2966&x=334110

You could make a lot of comparisons, kind of like Apple’s Live Photos, kind of like stereographs, kind of like those haunted portraits in Harry Potter. Whichever, I like the idea of recreating those moments in between the repeated camera frame and bringing them to life. Here are a few I created:

From From http://cantorcollection.stanford.edu/Obj71101?sid=2966&x=21074

From https://exhibits.stanford.edu/warhol/catalog/xs726qx2031

From http://cantorcollection.stanford.edu/Obj83039?sid=2966&x=49692

From http://cantorcollection.stanford.edu/Obj68671?sid=2966&x=21233

It is a pretty manual effort to get the images as close as possible before running them through the process, if the difference is too great than you start getting artifacts such as: