Chris Makos Portraits of Loredana Bertè on Album Covers.

When I started collecting Andy Warhol’s record cover more seriously sometime in the early 2000s there weren’t that many covers known to have been designed or illustrated by him. Everyone knew about the Velvet Underground & Nico and the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers but there weren’t many of the early covers that were recognised. Some of his jazz covers were signed but I could still search Ebay for less recognised covers including copies of early records like Cool Gabriels and buy the relatively cheap and resell doubles to fund further purchases. I had a fair collection by 2008 when I was offered the opportunity to put on a show of what I at the time considered to be a COMPLETE collection of Warhol covers. I was helped considerably by Warhol expert Guy Minnebach who had recently discovered important covers. We managed to collect about 65 covers. Then in September 2008 the Warhol Live! exhibition opened at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and included Paul Maréchal’s collection of Warhol’s record covers and his catalogue raisonné of Warhol’s record covers was published (Andy Warhol: Record Covers 19489-1987. Catalogue Raisonné. Prestel, 2008.)

Included in Maréchal’s book was a cover of Loredana Bertè’s 1981 album Made in Italy. The cover photograph was by Warhol’s good friend Christopher Makos. On the rear cover the photograph was credited “Album Concept and Photography Christopher Makos Andy Warhol Studio“. Loredana Bertè spent at least a year in New York in the early 80s learning English and has said she became friends with Andy Warhol and cooked him spaghetti. However, it seems doesn’t seem that Andy Warhol actually had any input into the design of the cover of the Made in Italy album, though he might well have come up with the title. I have always had difficulty in calling the Made in Italy album cover a “Warhol cover”, but who am I to argue with Paul Maréchal?

Interestingly (at least for me) is the fact that Chris Makos provided the portraits for Bertè’s 1983 album Jazz. There are two cover portraits of Loredana — the version of Jazz released in Italy has a photo that looks as though it could have come from the same photo session as the portrait on the Made in Italy album. The version of the same album released in Holland has a different portrait, this one in colour. Both are credited to Chris Makos, New York.

Chris Makos met Warhol probably in 1976 and is credited with showing him the 35 mm camera and its possibilities. He accompanied Warhol on several trips to Europe and took many photographs of him, including the famous series of Warhol in drag.

Should the Jazz album covers also be credited as “Warhol” covers like the Made in Italy album cover? I don’t think so. But then I don’t really think the Made in Italy cover should be included either.

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