On Friday, the Kickstarter campaign for Henri Dauman: Looking Up was looking grim. The project was sitting at $25,100 in funds raised, with just a few days left to reach $50,000. But as is often the case with crowdfunding campaigns, the donations rolled in during the final days and the project funded with just hours to spare.
The movie, being produced by Dauman’s granddaughter Nicole Suerez, will chart Henri’s escape from occupied France, immigration to New York and celebrated career as a photographer for Life magazine. There’s another family connection that makes this documentary media-noteworthy: Dauman is the father of current Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.
When the L.A. Times profiled Philippe a year into that job in 2007, they ended the article with some information that should certainly be considered for the upcoming documentary:
In 1996, the photographer spotted an article in The New York Times noting that an Andy Warhol work, “Sixteen Jackies,” had recently sold for $418,000. Looking at the accompanying picture, he saw that Warhol had incorporated Life magazine photos – including one from the JFK funeral – into his painting. He soon discovered that his own photo of the veiled Jackie had appeared in a number of Warhol works from the series.
The artist had died in 1987, but Henri Dauman sued his estate and the Andy Warhol Museum and foundation. The copyright infringement suit was settled for an undisclosed amount that a lawyer involved in the case put at “several hundred thousand dollars.”
Coincidentally, Henri Dauman had met Warhol in 1964 when Life sent him to shoot a portrait of the artist in his studio. According to Henri’s son, Philippe, Warhol offered the photographer a sketch from a project he was working on: a series of paintings of Campbell’s Soup cans. Baffled by the mundane image, Henri Dauman declined the gift.
“He should have taken that,” Philippe Dauman laughed in recounting the story. “It would have been worth many years of his photo career.”
The Kickstarter campaign likely benefited from a Reddit AMA Henri did last Thursday. In response to a user who made reference to the photographer’s famous subjects by asking, “Brigitte Bardot or Jane Fonda?,” Dauman quipped:
Well I had more of a working relationship with Jane Fonda than Brigitte Bardot, but… Brigitte Bardot had the better rear-end.
Speaking of that Warhol work. After being sold for $418,000 in 1992, “Sixteen Jackies” was sold again in 1998 for $1,872,500 and again, more recently, in 2011. The Sotheby’s sale price four years ago: $20.2 million. (An appreciation of son Philippe’s Viacom value-add was published in the Times on Thursday, the same day as dad’s AMA.)
Meanwhile, on Kickstarter, a pair of donors pledged $1,000 each to earn a reward dubbed ‘THE WARHOL.’ Their prize:
You just got yourself an exclusive meet-and-greet to visit Henri Dauman and the rest of the crew on set! While this doesn’t include transportation or lodging, you can choose from our shooting dates to visit us in New York City or Paris, France! This also includes a signed portrait photograph of Henri Dauman and a digital download of the documentary before it’s released!
[Screen grab via: Kickstarter; Warhol image via: sothebys.com]