Christopher Makos is an American photographer and artist. He apprenticed with photographer Man Ray
in Paris and collaborated with Andy Warhol
, whom he showed how to use his first camera.
He introduced Warhol to the work of both Jean-Michel Basquiat
and Keith Haring
. Makos's work has been in the permanent collections of more than 100 museums and major private collections, including those of Malcolm Forbes
, Pedro Almodóvar
, and Gianni Versace
His photographs of Warhol, Haring, Tennessee Williams
, and others have been auctioned regularly at Sotheby's. Warhol called Makos the "most modern photographer in America"
Chris Makos was born in Massachusetts, but grew up in California before moving to Paris, to work as an apprentice with Man Ray. Since the early 1970s he has worked at developing a style of boldly graphic photojournalism.
His photographs have been the subject of numerous exhibitions both in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Japan and have appeared in countless magazines and newspapers worldwide. He has been a seminal figure in the contemporary art scene in New York. His book, Warhol: A Photographic Memoir
, published by New American Library, chronicles his close friendship and extensive travels with Warhol.
Makos' photographs have been published in Interview
, Rolling Stone
, House & Garden
, New York Magazine
, Genre and People
, among others. His portrait of Warhol wrapped in a flag was featured on the front cover of the Spring 1990 issue of the Smithsonian Studies, the academic journal of the Smithsonian Institution. Makos' Icons portfolio is a collection of silkscreen portraits of Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor
, Salvador Dalí
, John Lennon
, and Mick Jagger
Christopher Makos is one of the best and most-known photographers in the world, having photographed New York’s art scene since 1970, the punk and rock scene of the 1980s and 1990s in America, as well as the architecture and artistic scene of European cities. He became famous, making portraits sculptured with the immediacy that characterized the bohemian stream that cheered diversity and urged people not to fear to show what they were. At the age of 66, he still retains his youthful, artistic charm and intense energy, and he never stops preferring to live in the moment and follow his instinct.
Chris Makos was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1948, by an Italian mother and a Greek father. His Greek grandparents settled in Lowell in the 1920s and became laborers at the factory in the area, which was the occasion for their acquaintance and the creation of their family – the name “Economacos”
after the installation of the family in the US.
Little Chris grew up in California and moved to New York after high school in the late 1960s, with no plans or ambitions. He studied architecture in Paris, but not photography. His love for that art was created when he received a camera on his birthday. It was then the beginning, followed by an apprenticeship under Man Ray
, who taught him to trust the “original impressions”
New York, in the 1970s, was the scene of a unique creative explosion with Chris Makos fitting easily into it because of his open mind, as he says, and immortalizing “a visual manifesto of the time”
and its relationship with the “crude naivety”
of the decade.
Makos photographed the “madness”
of New York clubs, including the famous frequenters of Studio 54, including Liz Taylor, Salvador Dali, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Lennon, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, who left their signature on the stunning creativity of the Greek photographer. He himself was the starting point for many developments on the scene of modern American art and one of those who narrated the history of punk.