Bio

"Everything I do is a hobby."  Andy Warhol

Karen Bystedt, founder and photographer of The Lost Warhols brings to life one of the greatest art icons of the twentieth century. Shot at 'The Factory' in New York City, Bystedt was a student at NYU, working on a book on the top male models of the era, when she cold called Andy Warhol. Andy himself answered the phone and agreed to a rare sitting with Bystedt in the conference room at 'The Factory'.

Bystedt went on to publish four books. Having found the negatives in 2011, long lost since the initial shoot in 1982, in Andy's spirit, Bystedt has began collaborating with some of the great artists in the street and pop art genres of today including Peter Tunney, Speedy Graphito, Gregory Siff, Dom Pattinson and Chris Brown aka Konfuzed.

Permanent collections of the Lost Warhols may be found at The Andy Warhol Museum, the Armenian Museum of Modern Art, the Hearst Foundation, the Lourdes Foundation and in the private collections of Prince Albert of Monaco, Tomoasso Buti, George Lopez, David Caruso and the Dean Collection (Swizz Beats) among others. With Murals located in Los Angeles, California as well as Houston, Texas.


Photo by Dennis Leight

Photo by Dennis Leight


Working With Andy

In 1981 Andy Warhol (1928-1987) now world renowned as "The Prince of Pop" signed on as a male model with the then prestigious Zoli Modeling Agency in NYC. A year later, while purusing the pages of GQ, Bystedt caught sight of Warhol in a Barneys advertisment and came up with the idea to photograph him as a male model for a book she was working on of well known male models of the period. Bystedt called Interview Magazine headquarters (dubbed "The Factory"), then located at 860 Broadway. To her astonishment, Andy himself answered the phone. After Bystedt satisfied his query on the other subjects that were committed for the book he consented to sit for a portrait session with her.

On a crisp autumn afternoon Bystedt arrived at Warhol's Factory, armed with a rented Hasselblad and the best lighting assistant she could find.

For the sitting, Warhol dressed himself in a purplish brown tweed Perry Ellis sports coat, a navy blue shirt, a brown and red knit tie, khaki pants and loafers. A neatly combed white toupee replaced his standard messy "fright" wig. His face was covered thickly with pancake makeup - so heavily put on that much to his aghast, Bystedt smoothed over his application with her fingers. Once the camera and lighting were in place Warhol nervously handled a small American flag. Bystedt managed to get thirty six shots of the artist in a variety of poses.

Although Bystedt published two images from the sitting in her book, NOT JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE, the negatives from the series were consequently put into storage and lost until she rediscovered some of them in 2011. To date Bystedt has carefully restored 10 of these images. 

Photo by Karen Bystedt

Photo by Karen Bystedt


Before They Were Famous

Graduate of the American University in Paris for photography and literature and a film major at New York University, Bystedt has refined her natural talent with classical artistic training that has developed her keen sense of true talent and an eye for capturing the spirit of her subjects. Having photographed many stars before they were famous such as Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Bullock, Jared Leto, Drew Barrymore and more.  Bystedt now has four published books including NOT JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE (1983), THE NEW BREED (1988), BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS (1992), and THEY DARED TO DREAM (2009). 


Andy Goes Street

Karen Bystedt is recognized as a visionary at the forfront of the Mixed Media movement having first collaborated in a live installation with Peter Tunney at Art Basel in December 2011.

In November of 2013, Bystedt’s Andy Warhol portraits, were projected on the giant Videotron, above the Key Club on the Sunset Strip, in  Los Angeles. The enormous screen  featured eight of her iconic, colorful, Warhol  portraits that  rotated  for twenty hours a day. That giant projections of Warhol, on the street, inspired the artist to choose some of Los Angeles’ favorite pop-surrealism, emerging street artists to paint over her photographic images, in a series of highly electrifying murals.  With, Andy goes Street; Bystedt brings the “Lost Warhols” to new scale with collaborations that are creating murals, stencils and wheat paste guerilla like- art all over Los Angles with an eye for expanding her purview and taking the streets of the world.

Bystedt states,  I love creating art but most of all I love creating street art that can be viewed by any and everyone on the streets, I find it exciting and inspiring, it's what my passion is derived from."

Collaboration with Speedy Graphito

Collaboration with Speedy Graphito


The Lost Warhols Box Set

Incased in this exclusive hand made linen embossed box The Lost Warhols contain all 10 of Karen Bystedt’s photographic prints all of which are signed, numbered and printed on archival art paper. Included in the box is a 24 x 24 contract sheet of these ten iconic Warhol Portraits, five in color and five in black and white.

The boxed set of  24 x 24 inch prints is limited to an edition of ten boxed sets.   Included in the box are vellum interleaves between each print with quotes from Andy Warhol from Karen Bystedts' interview written out in an elegant script.

A forty by forty inch print went to Prince Albert of Monacos' private collection and another sold to Tomasso Buti, a wealthy jewelry designer and manufacturer who owns the original Andy Warhol Factory building in downtown Manhattan.

Many of these Warhol photographs offer a rare look at the pop artmeister.  The best intimately connect us to the man who usually hid behind a faux, highly effected and vacuous persona. To see Andy, father of contemporary pop, making eye contact with Bystedt’s camera, humanizes him and makes him an object of affection and desirability.