Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Chelsea Girls (1966)
Chelsea Girls is a 1966 experimental underground film directed by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey. The film was Warhol's first major commercial success after a long line of avant-garde art films (both feature length and short). It was shot at the Hotel Chelsea and other locations in New York City, and follows the lives of several of the young women who live there, and stars many of Warhol's superstars. It is presented in a split screen, accompanied by alternating soundtracks attached to each scene and an alternation between black-and-white and color photography. The original cut runs at just over three hours long.
The title, Chelsea Girls, is a reference to the location in which the film takes place. It was the inspiration for star Nico's 1967 debut album, Chelsea Girl. The album featured a ballad-like track titled "Chelsea Girls", written about the hotel and its inhabitants who appear in the film. The girl in the poster is Clare Shenstone, at the age of 16, an aspiring artist who would later be influenced by Francis Bacon.
With its creativity and eroticism, the poster for the movie captures the sensual essence of the film. It was designed for the release of the movie in London by graphic artist Alan Aldridge. Warhol was extremely happy with the design and commented that he “wished the movie was as good as the poster”. The poster was later used as the cover art for Felt's 1984 album, The Splendour of Fear.