Warhol superstar Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne), who died early this past Saturday, was also an author and artist whose most recent exhibit, at the Dillon Gallery in Chelsea, “Ultra Violet: The Studio Recreated,” just closed three weeks ago.
I was assigned to shoot Ultra Violet for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sunday magazine. She lived in one of the Upper West Side’s typically large buildings, in the penthouse. I couldn’t find an available assistant but my friend Jane Schreibman, an amazing photographer, offered to help me.
The doorman told us that the elevator didn’t go to Ultra Violet’s apartment, that we should take the elevator to the building’s top floor, then the stairs to the roof and walk across–we’d see her door. Her place, not much more than a large shed was filled with color, fabrics, antiques, objects and plants.
Ultra Violet who had been endlessly asked about the 60s before our shoot (and after–in 2011 she told USA Today, “I mean, it was an exciting era in that there was a cultural revolution going on”), graciously indulged our questions about the decade, Warhol, The Factory and her starring role in many of his films.