He Was A She

And Then He Was A She

Holly came from Miami F.L.A., hitch-hiked her way across the USA
Plucked her eyebrows on the way, shaved her legs, and then he was a she
She says ‘hey babe, take a walk on the wild side’.
Walk on the Wild Side, Lou Reed (1972

homeThe Drill Hall is proud to present the London premiere of a groundbreaking exhibition of ten paintings of Warhol Drag Queen Holly Woodlawn by award-winning British artist Sadie Lee.

Holly Woodlawn is one of the last surviving members of Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’ inner circle, the star of cult films Trash and Women in Revolt. Born Harold Ajzenberg in Puerto Rico, 1946, she took the name ‘Holly’ from the gamine heroine of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. On meeting her, Capote declared Holly to be “the face of the 70’s”.

In October 2006, Sadie Lee spent every day for a week in Holly’s Los Angeles apartment, making studies of Holly as the basis for a series of oil paintings. The paintings, made on Lee’s return to her London studio, show Holly in all her incarnations, with and without make-up, wig and frock. This is the first time that Holly has allowed herself to be presented publicly out of drag. These are not just pictures of a man dressing as a woman; Holly is both male and female and neither.

She is, above all, a Superstar.