The photographer Billy Name, best known for collaborating with Andy Warhol during the heyday of Warhol’s Factory, has died, according to a report by Justin Harp at Digital Spy and Alex Needham in the Guardian, via a Facebook post by fellow former Warhol acolyte and actor Joe Dallesandro. In Dallesandro’s remembrance, he wrote: “Billy was the one who made the silver Factory silver, working with Gerard Malanga and was every bit an artist as anyone else at the Factory. Soon all of us will be gone but because of Billy most of the history is recorded on film. May his journey home be peaceful.”
Name was born William Linich Jr. in 1940. After moving from Poughkeepsie to New York City, he came in contact with Warhol in 1959 while working as a waiter at the restaurant Serendipity 3. The pop artist dubbed him “Billy Name,” and he famously decorated Warhol’s Factory studio on East Forty-Seventh Street with the silver spray paint and aluminum foil look that became a legend of the time. He considered himself the foreman of the Factory and was given a camera by Warhol to document its subculture, including such figures as Edie Sedgwick, Candy Darling, Baby Jane Holzer, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground. Name photographed the record sleeves for the band’s first album, 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico, which Andy Warhol produced, as well as their self-titled third record. After the Factory relocated to Union Square in early 1968, Name lived in a photography darkroom there, often not emerging for months at a time. He left New York in 1970 and went to California, where he began performing poetry.
Milk gallery in New York, which held an exhibition of Name’s photography in 2014, has confirmed his death.