Andy Warhol would use a polaroids as a template for his screenprints, taking up to 200 photographs of his famous subjects in order to get the right picture, sometimes using two polaroids to make one image if he couldnt.
The polaroids are often unflattering, capturing people at odd angles and in harsh lighting, showing the celebrities in their true state before being turned into his iconic paintings.
Warhol said himself that he 'just wanted to make people look beautiful' however the polaroids unforgiving and honest images is exactly what he liked about them saying that they always came out just right, though he never presented them as pieces of work in their own right.
Warhols fascination with others and his tendency to obsessively document and collect all that was around him is evident in his polaroid collection, as not only are their portraits but also still life photographs, his own self anaylisis comes through in the many polaroids of himself, often in drag.
I think that it was the sheer volume of them all, taking up an entire wall at the 'Other voices, Other rooms' exhibition that struck me. Maybe they would have had less impact individualy, maybe it's because i hadnt seen most of them and had only been familiar with the resulting pieces of work, but they were, for me, the most interesting work there.