Skip to main content

A man buried in sand with only parts of his face visible. Two halves of a loaf of bread sewn together. Someone wearing a mask of the poet Rimbaud against various backdrops in New York City, sometimes just standing there, sometimes masturbating, sometimes shooting heroin. A film portraying an obsessed fan's behavior as his idol rejects his worship and he falls to pieces very graphically. A man sitting at the docks of Manhattan, his face all painted in blue. And my personal favorite, a take on road construction signs, this one portraying a man eating out of a cow's ass.

This is just a fraction of the art produced by David Wojnarowicz.

As I read back what I just wrote, some might be inclined to believe all his work glorifies destruction and negativity. Personally, I think there's more to his work than that, but even if that was the case, there was a reason. He was dying of AIDS, and being gay and infected with AIDS in 80's America was to be looked upon with scorn from everyone who viewed the half-assed coverage of AIDS as an act of god.

I first discovered David Wojnarowicz when I was living out on Long Island. As a teen, I felt isolated and would always stay in my room listening to music or reading books, not caring about the outside world. In my 20's, I found myself wanting to explore the world a little more. I picked up my first issue of the Village Voice and inside I came across an article about David Wojnarowicz. He had just died. I still remember the picture from that article. He was sitting down and had such a piercing stare that I was mesmerized. To this day, I still can't put my finger on why.

My girlfriend, Tonya, feels that when you die you leave an impression of yourself somewhere, some more so that others. A larger than life personality, or a traumatic death could leave behind such an impression. Perhaps I somehow sensed there was more to this man than just another gay artist who died of AIDS.

Maybe a year or so later, I can't remember when, I would run across another article on him. It was a drawing of him smashing St. Patrick's cathedral. I was in my anti-religion phase back then and thought this was pretty cool. The article was about the comic book, "Seven Miles a Second", which was based on his autobiographical writings. In that particular scene, he is raging against the condemnation by the church on people infected with AIDS. I became more intrigued.

Fast forward to 1999, whereupon I would see yet another article in yet another Village Voice, this one about the retrospective show, "Fever", at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Soho. Of course I had to go. I ended up spending half the day there. The entire building was full of his work. There were paintings, sculptures, films, even music from his old band, 3 Teens Kill 4. It was an amazing output.

OK, so why write about this now? Who gives a fuck? That's my whole point is that a lot of people don't give a fuck or don't know about his art. Searches on the web only come up with little paragraphs here and there. It's just really sad to me that when most people think of New York Art, they think of Warhol, or Basquiat, who as far as I was concerned were more into keeping up the myth of the artist rather than actually producing essential art. I know I'm probably going to catch hell from some people, but what the fuck did those two do that were so damn interesting anyway? If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong and so be it, but I've never seen anything that Warhol has done that had the pure, honest emotion that David Wojnarowicz put into his work. He had something to say and he said in more ways than most people could, and yet I still don't know how to pronounce his goddamn last name (which could be also due to that I'm your typical American ignoramus who has no experience with other cultures). It almost proves the point that the celebrity of the artist is more important than the art. I guess if David Wojnarowicz looked more like a freak with a white wig or a handsome young black man instead of starving lower east side artist then he'd be more well known.

Hopefully, a forum like this can change that. Let's face it, there's a ton of under appreciated artists from New York City whose work ends up in the trash. I hate to think of artwork rotting at Fresh Kills, because I like to think that art has some type of permanence to it. But it happens every day and the only way to stop it is to make the effort to appreciate it, even if you don't like it.

[This message was edited by TonyaKnudsen on 09-11-02 at 01:06 AM.]
Last edited {1}
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

when I saw you last at Jackie 60, but I was too shy to approach ... my boyfriend, ever the art and underground enthusiast, is a great fan of the art and writings of David Wojnarowicz and has been completely blown away by "Seven Miles a Second". In reading Mr. Wojnarowicz's bio to me, the band name 3 Teens Kill 4, kept sticking out in my head. It occurred to me at Jackie where I knew it from, are you not one of the founding members of that band?

Perhaps next time we see you out, or somewhere on these boards, you wouldn't mind sharing a tale or two with us about this new hero in Doug's life.

[This message was edited by TonyaKnudsen on 09-01-02 at 12:11 PM.]
Last edited {1}
Yes, Tonya, I will share with you a tale or two... thousand, if you like...
3 Teens Kill 4 No Motive was a New York Post headline (naturally), found by artist Ken Tisa, who had drawn up a list of about 100 names for a band we wanted to start in 1979.
David and I had lived through the era of both Fillmores so we knew that we wanted our performances to include words, music and visuals.
I was also remembering recently that our manager at the time, Iolo Carew, had gotten us all set to be booked as the opening act for Kate Bush's US tour in support of her brilliant "The Dreaming" in 1982, when unfortunately Ms. Bush had a breakdown, refused to fly, and cancelled the tour. It is probable that ours, and David's, lives would have been very different had the tour gone as scheduled, but I have no doubt that David would have continued to create on the more visual end of the artistic spectrum. I, however probably would have gotten sloppier a whole lot sooner ;-)

I am also the body behind the mask of some of David's "Rimbaud In New York" photos, if you are familiar with them.
In such a short span David W. did more for breakthrough art and Aids politics than most of us could hope for in a lifetime. One of the few art shows I've ever attended and gone away intoxicated with the creativity of the work. There's not much more astounding then seeing work you may have dreamt of or intended to create and then brought to reality by a fanatic obsessed. My initial reaction was, damn he beat me to it and then realized, oh great, now I don't have to do it because much of it was quite labor intensive. Besides, he excelled at bringing new meaning to iconic imagery which many fail to do or even consider. Had his life not been cut short, no doubt, he'd be a giant of the last millenium.

last edit//9/13/02
upon re-reading this post I thought in my excitement of finding kindred spirits of David W. I may have sounded a tad suggestive of being on a par or nearly as creative as his works proved to be. Such is not the case of course, what I meant was that there were a few things that some artists would also find universal or identify with that David managed to embody and express through his vision. Difference being he acted upon it without hesitation. I thank all for not taking me to task here.
rb//nyc//bronks B&T eek

Hatches, you're a wealth of knowledge for all of us, I hope you're considering setting aside your life interferences to assemble the definitive history of these times in book form before it all vanishes to memory or lack of. I read your post about the video projections down by Canal st. and couldn't help but think of a beam of light coming out of one of your apartment windows? roll eyes


[This message was edited by dreambot on 09-11-02 at 03:16 AM.]

[This message was edited by dreambot on 09-13-02 at 01:03 PM.]
Last edited {1}
i think it's pronounced:
WAR-nuh-RO-vitch. is that right?

a true genius from what i know, which is admittedly very little. a lover of mine introduced me to his poetry and told me stories of installations he would do in rooms on the piers. i would love to hear more and know where to look for more of his work.
school me!!
this is the first artist whose name has brought me into this new forum.
Indeed, I have been thinking about this topic all week, as I too would like to see more in it (and, more of it's ilk). What I have managed to obtain from D. is a copy of the program from David's show a few years back at the above-mentioned museum in SoHo. It is about 10-pages, so I need to get text-scanning software installed). D. also has the above graphic art book mentioned, but I need to look into reprinting rights. Generally, it's pretty easy to get permission to reprint an artist's work who has publications on the market (basically you are running a free ad/link to that publisher.)

I do believe that Johnny mentioned both above and at M.F. party last Sunday, that he had an image. He may be kind enough to scan it. I don't think he'd have any copy-right issues reprinting it. He'll probably see this post, and load it on if it's possible. I will follow-up on future installations, etc. before next weekend.

Lastly, if you would like to set up a topic in here about an artist (especially, a talent whose work is not well-known) this is why the forum exists.

If you have suggestions, but do not wish to start a topic, you can post suggestions to "Great Topic Ideas". I'll see what I can do! I plan to try to find links for all artists mentioned in these ArtMaker posts as they pop up. This is a great way of uncovering an artist "lost in time."

Until next time ... Tonya ...(PS. We only launched a week ago, so that might be why this is the first artist topic to catch your interest. big grin
---Or, Daddy-D. & Hatches, "We tell ourselves stories to keep ourselves alive," says Joan Didion, as quoted in an intro to a "quasi-fiction" American queer "best of" anthology featuring the work of David Wojnarowicz ... by Brian Bouldrey

---Goblin, for thee I have done mass research and have compiled a "DW" file of information for this topic some 40 pages in length ... It is too much for any one person to take in one night. So I will be adding links to names and places throughout this topic, as well as the rest of the posts, in the days and weeks to come. Amazing that I had never heard of this person until Doug came along (and Hatches, subsequently, "clued" me in) ... for I have discovered layer upon layer of inter-active, multi-media realms online where David can be found these days.

Sidestepping all the obvious info needing posting - i.e. his books/works for sale, galleries/museums which catalog his work or plan exhibitions, biography information, places where his art/voice/likeness is continually being reinvented and reproduced, etc. There were two things that I came upon that I personally enjoyed discovering.

The first: Jon's Homepage - Whoever Jon is, and whatever his Rubik's (or Rimbaud's) cube is about, I'd love to know ... I did not have the nerve to access the video cam, so, if someone else does, PLEASE! let us all know what happens ... that Tinkerbell scared me away ...

The second: The below article that starts with "the era" and "climate" of David and moves rapidly through the last few decades of New York Art Culture - living it, learning it and lumping it. I found the piece to be fodder so to speak for the ArtMaker forum on the whole, as well as a boat load of names and places for me to make links to (thus to find out what can not yet be found on the search engines about DW, and the rest of the "nuts and bolts" and "bags of tricks," that will eventually be the "product" of this forum.)

------------------------------------------------Dual Nature. ArtForum: October, 1999. by Peter Nagy. ( Nagy bio) - Even in the midst of the thrill of it all, it was apparent that two contingencies – one demographic, the other economic - laid the groundwork for the making of the "East Village Art Scene." First, the postwar baby boom, which peaked in 1959, led to an outpouring of art-school grads in the early '80s. Sometimes it seems as though a majority of my generation, having grown up in the fertile '60s, pursued careers in the creative arts, and the New York art world simply couldn't accommodate this glut of brash, snot-nosed artists eager to exhibit their goods, and consequently burst at the seams. Second, the boom market enabled a generation of artist-entrepreneurs not only to start their own galleries but to keep their doors open and flourish.

I graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1981, having majored in communication design and feasted on art-history and critical-theory courses in general. At the time, I was working as a typesetter in a small ad and magazine shop on West Fifty-seventh Street and one day Alan Belcher walked in to do pasteups and mechanicals. We bonded almost immediately over Malcolm McLaren's latest project, Bow Wow Wow, and soon started going to galleries together on our lunch hour. Our favorite artists at the time - Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Yves Klein - were still underdogs, and we were both excited by obscure foreign Pop, such as Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, and the French Nouveaux Realistes. Our tastes were remarkably similar.

At home, I was sharing an East Village basement with Doug Bressler, a friend from Parsons who was in the band 3 Teens Kill 4 alongside David Wojnarowicz, and our landlord was Bill Stelling, cofounder of the Fun Gallery. I had started making art, and prowled the galleries of SoHo and uptown incessantly. One day, Bill invited me to an opening at the storefront space he had recently started with Patti Astor. I was completely alienated by both the hip-hop crowd and the graffiti art, but appreciated the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland "let's put on a show" attitude of it all. Belcher and I started to talk, spotted an East Village storefront only to lose it and find a better one, and, with the help of some cohorts from Parsons and about $500, opened Nature Morte on May 15, 1982. We chose the name because we liked its postpunk feel (something akin to the name Joy Division) and figured that all art was really just a still life anyway. Gracie Mansion was mounting shows in her bathroom, Civilian Warfare opened on the very same day we did, and, as much to our astonishment as everyone else's, the galleries started popping up around us like mold spores. Think back and you realize that this was a pivotal moment for the art world in general. The first waves of European neoexpressionism had arisen just a few seasons earlier, Mary Boone and Julian Schnabel were electrifying the scene, and established galleries were opening huge new spaces. I had been influenced by the Joseph Beuys retrospective at the Guggenheim in 1979-80.

It brought a physical type of Conceptual art to the forefront and gave contemporary art its blockbuster potential. At the time, I associated Beuys's social sculpture with Michael Asher's experiments in institutional critique in Los Angeles in the '70s. With my education in advertising, publication design, and packaging I was gravitating toward museum work, so it seemed natural to fuse my interests into an art gallery. At that point, the commercial gallery seemed to be a direct route to action, a way to forgo the hassles and dependencies associated with alternative spaces, and the nonprofit foundations with all their paperwork and advisory boards. I had been impressed with Colab's "Times square Show," ABC No Rio, and Fashion Moda, especially with their do-it-yourself spontaneity and their success at drumming up attention in the mainstream press.

My generation came of age in the early '70s. We had been aware of the '60s - the hippies, the acid, the antiwar movement - but we were too young to join in. We watched it all on TV, saw the era unfold on the pages of Life. But by the time we could participate (i.e., when we finally had the part-time jobs that let us buy our own clothes and records), times had changed. Glitter and glam were the rage, and a new rebellion based on style and a much more personal set of issues (sexual, psychological) was at hand. Fashion was important - really important - and by the time we arrived at the East Village scene (by way of disco and punk, let's not forget), seasonal innovation and parricide were the established cultural norms. I make this point to get at the mind-set of my generation at the beginning of the '80s. We were accustomed to the comfort food of novelty, nonthreatening and perfectly in line with the paradigm of change for change's sake that was symptomatic of all areas of cultural production (not just the garment industry). No wonder the art and fashion worlds continued to schmooze along until they became virtually indistinguishable. Change was necessary, fun, and good, but it didn't mean that the basic structure of things was likely to topple. The punks unfortunately had to learn the same lesson the Surrealists had learned forty years earlier:

You could change your own life and your aesthetics, but that would have little effect on society as a whole. These, then, were the conditions that created a new neighborhood for art that, in retrospect, seems to have anticipated "grunge" in many ways, if grunge is defined as the hybrid of hippie and punk. The spaces were small, by any standards, the walls were often left unplastered, and lighting was decidedly ad hoc, but the scene wasn't "anti-art" in any sense. In fact, most of us running these galleries aspired to a Fifty-seventh Street professionalism, lusting after computers in those days before there were even fax machines, let alone e-mail. We welcomed our acknowledgment by the establishment as we opened our invitations for each of the four nights of festivities inaugurating the new Museum of Modern Art in 1984. We loved art and its institutions: That's why we had started our own. Once the money started to come in, we gleefully layered on the Commes des Garcons and Yohji before heading off to restaurants like Indochine, Hawaii Five-O, or Hasaki, and we welcomed the big-name collectors and their limos to the scruffy neighborhood (kudos to Patti and Bill of Fun, who got the ball rolling by precipitating Bruno Bischofberger's early arrival). In the end, it's really the collectors whom we all have to thank for creating the scene. They responded enthusiastically to this hothouse youth culture and created a buoyant speculative market (which continues today) for those fresh out of their June gowns. Those were the giddy, drug-enhanced days in which a new generation greedily accepted art history's mantle, and I, for one, never imagined they would come to an end so soon.

With twenty-twenty hindsight, it's easy to see how specious and fickle the outpourings of both attention and money were, and it's easy now to point up the hubris of those who believed that the rules of the game were changing forever. Alan Belcher and I never imagined ourselves to be revolutionaries; rather, we naively found ourselves in the right place at the right time, a moment in which, as I still believe, true progress was being made in the visual arts (though this was happening mostly in SoHo). Belcher and I identified strongly with the Metro Pictures school of art: media-derived, critical, and ironic. Consequently, we loathed the initial definition of the East Village by way of Gracie Mansion's kitsch (had seen it all before at Holly Solomon's on West Broadway) and Civilian Warfare's Urban Punk (now seemingly the most true-to-the-neighborhood aesthetic). We felt vindicated only by the arrival, and subsequent success, of International With Monument and Cash/Newhouse, and were proud to be peers in the court of Collins and Milazzo. It was Collins and Milazzo - that cross between Deleuze and Guattari and Ozzie and Harriet - who deserve the most credit for creating the intellectual East Village. They not only brought together (over Tricia's home cooking) the like-minded young artists and gallerists of the neighborhood, but virtually built the bridge connecting the Pictures generation with its spawn.

Personally, I learned volumes from my experience in the East Village, up to my eyeteeth in it as I was. The anxiety of making it into the history books was erased, as the history books themselves were democratized, opened up for seemingly anyone to write in. It's surprising just how many "East Village" shows were mounted around the world, usually instigated by outside forces, but occasionally from within the neighborhood itself, for there certainly hasn't been a glut of geographically inspired curating since (no shows anywhere, to my knowledge, on "The Marais" or "The Galleries of Bergamot Station"), which points to the fact that the audience outside saw the East Village scene as more cohesive and homogenized than did those of us within it. Just as the history books expanded to record more names, we became acutely aware, at an early age, of the rapid turnover of artists required to fuel the novelty-driven market

(I'm often reminded of Robert Pincus-Witten's essay "The Scene that Turned on a Dime" [1986]). Anyone involved in the scene can think of dozens of artists and dealers who seem to have disappeared from the art world completely - far more, in fact, than those whom we know to be still active.

One thing that distinguished the East Village from SoHo or the uptown galleries was the prominence of the artist-dealer. One would guess that most people who start their own
galleries had, at some point in their lives, entertained ideas of making art themselves. (Such ambitions, if they weren't totally abandoned in high school, were usually crushed during college.) So the notion of the artist-dealer, which might seem so surprising, was really to be expected. There wasn't any great new twist behind the rise of the East Village scene. It was just another chapter in a long history of artists taking matters into their own hands to get their works out there (from the Salon des Refuses [1863] to Oldenburg's Store [1961-62] to the "Freeze" show in London [1988]). But in the early '80s there was a political and conceptual appropriateness to fusing the roles of artist, dealer, and curator that accompanied the turn toward institutional critique, toward rethinking representation itself, and toward the inclusion of hitherto marginalized voices not only in the art world but in the society at large. I liked (and still like) the notion of bringing other artists' works together into still lifes, as well as the manipulation of meaning through montage and assemblage.

Our success in the East Village of the '80s as both artists and dealers forced us to choose one role or the other, and I, among others, opted for the role of maker over seller, since there seemed to be no end of gallery attention and collector enthusiasm. But as we all know now, the bubble burst, and there was a mad scramble - by the artists for teaching positions and by the galleries for still younger artists with even fresher work. I have since gravitated back to running a commercial gallery (in New Delhi, India), but I seem to be the only one who has done so. Certainly the fact that I moved to the other side of the world and encountered an art scene full of possibilities and potential akin to the East Village in the early '80s helped. It would have been difficult to muster the gumption to put it together again in New York. I am conscious of being penalized for being a dealer: Artists aren't supposed to be interested in the market (ha ha), and my choice is, apparently, seen by some as opportunistic and manipulative. In New York people often ask how I can be an artist and run a gallery at the same time (though the emphasis seems to be on availability of time rather than on ethics). I counter that no one would question were I to head the painting department at Yale while continuing to make and show my work. As it happens, I'm not particularly interested in academia and would rather work with mature artists on the presentation and promotion of their work. I would find it nearly impossible to offer much encouragement to the new crop of art students each year. I prefer the combination of market, media, creativity, and personality that comes together in a gallery.

Was my outlook and attitude forged in the crucible of the East Village? Undoubtedly, I suspect I will always choose the entrepreneurial, peripatetic path over the security and routine of higher education. Though the art world makes a pretense of fetishizing the most radical young work, I don't see any real risk taking or rule breaking when it comes to museum curating or gallery running (save for Matthew Marks spontaneously generating a new art neighborhood and Gavin Brown's recent venture wherein honesty wins out over sobriety). Perhaps the greatest contribution of (and, for many, the biggest problem with) the whole East Village thang was that it foregrounded, then obviated, the notion that bohemia wasn't necessarily antithetical to a culture of glamour and prestige; and this led directly to today's gluttonous market (in all areas of cultural production), which forces any underground to the surface so quickly that the very concept of an underground ceases to exist. It's tempting to see the East Village as the last gasp of us-against-them bohemia, of an underground that held its ground, if ever so briefly. But, then again, maybe that's the way most people reminisce about the moment when they passed from adolescence into adulthood, from innocence into maturity, from being a nobody to being a somebody.

Peter Nagy is an artist and proprietor of the present-day Gallery Nature Morte in New Delhi. With Alan Belcher, he cofounded the original Nature Morte in 1982.

[This message was edited by TonyaKnudsen on 09-11-02 at 02:41 AM.]
Last edited {1}
What a great artical. That was my youth!
I remember at the time older people telling us to "enjoy this time, it's not always like this". Now I see what they meant. Can you imagine opening a storefront gallery in the East Village for $500 today?
That scene is where Chi Chi and I were hatched. Her writing, my records (our first gig was at The Time Square Show) everything we've done from JACKIE 60 and MOTHER to these MOTHERBOARDS all come from that kindergarden. It's ironic and fabulous to read about "then" on the "now" MOTHERBOARDS. I love it! ARTMAKER rules.
Gobs, David actually preferred the Eastern European pronunciation of his name, Voy-na-ro-vitch, but gave up on that early on and settled for War-na-ro-vitch.
Tonya, interesting the Didion connection, as that "Lady Of The Canyon" and the L. A. connection influenced prominently in the late '70s mostly through my friends and those I had come into contact with such as Tomato Du Plenty, Exene, Chuck E. Weiss etc. and I spent an unusual amount of time there. Understand that Los Angeles was a
very different place back then.
I also remember David and I going to the Joseph Beuys retrospective at the Guggenheim (?) and being so totally blown away we went back two or three times.
from TonyaKnudsen: I have moved this "episode" of "How Dreambot came to ArtMaker" from David W. to that one. razz

Now it all makes sense Hatches. You, David, Joseph Beuys; e.t. al, I think the first art magazine I ever saw featured Beuys (and his hat) and my life as a salient idiot was forever changed. Up until then, I didn't quite get art, bunch of over-priced pretty pictures so what. But when post-war artists (Beuys included)started again exploring new mediums, approaches, combinations, concepts, meaning, culture finally started breaking out of its' self-imposed 50's conformists constricture. Which doesn't bring me to the question. Does anyone know how or why the Ray Johnson homage exists on Ludlow street? And when ya gonna get your butt up to da Bronks and try on some of my outfits for your archival collection. Ya better hurry up soon, I may have to move if I can't figure out how to buy the house I'm in. This time it'll be back to Berlin.

[This message was edited by TonyaKnudsen on 09-21-02 at 06:45 PM.]
Last edited {1}
Daddy-D: I promise not to dreg up emotions too often. And someday, you and Chi Chi will have to let me write a bit about your early exploits. This is something I look forward to. You know, one of the first conversations I had with Rose, maybe about four years ago, was about whether or not I could come in to Mother early one night just to interview her. She seemed to me to have stories untold of amazing interest (however since there was no place to publish such tales) I did not pursue the endeavor. Also, I got the impression, she found me a bit odd for making the request. eek

Hatches: I am an intuitive being. And the older I get, the more accurate my "musings" become. I make connections, although half the time I do not know I am doing so. Often to the amazement and disruption to those around me. I utter things -- because some part of my ego must know if they are correct. It's like with your last post, all I could think of was this guitar book I bought after my guitar was given to me (ask me sometime who gave it to me). I was fascinated for some time with the section in that book about alternative guitar tunings, but what this has to do with your post, I'm completely lost. I'm sure it will make sense to me some night while spinning about the dance floor. roll eyes

Dreambot: Ref. 1: Mail artists around the world embraced Johnson's notion of making ordinary mail an art of extraordinary wit and beauty. Johnson's legacy lives today in numerous gatherings of mail artists such as the NYCS Salami Chapter which paid homage to Ray's passing at Katz' Deli. Ref 2: 1995. February/február "NEW YORK CORRESPONDENSE SCHOOL" Salami Chapter, gathered at Katz's Deli, New York City, USA (www) / "PRAY FOR RAY, IN A MEMORY OF RAY JOHNSON" /medium: fax/ Begijnhof-Centrum voor Kunsten, Hasselt, Belgium. (org.: T.A.C./Guy Bleus) wink

Goblin: as requested: cool

Exhibitions / Galleries /Museums
Although there are the occasional exhibitions and shows where David's work can be seen, I can find no current listings in this country. However, there are several virtual galleries and a few galleries and museums about town that catalog his work. I recommend phoning any gallery or museum in advance to make sure the work is indeed available for public view.

Virtual Galleries
New Museum of Contemporary Art - Fever: The Art of David Wojnarowicz – Online Gallery

New Museum of Contemporary Art - Online Slide Show

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has launched a visual database of work by artists with HIV/AIDS. Entitled The Virtual Collection, the on-line database features 3,000 high-resolution images of works by 150 artists who have died of AIDS or are living with HIV/AIDS. The Virtual Collection can be accessed via the MoMa Web site and through other museums and institutions around the United States.

Queer Arts Resource - Wojnarowicz
QAR was founded in 1996 as one of the first Internet-based arts organizations. Since that time they have produced over 40 exhibitions demonstrating the range, depth, and importance of queer artistic expression.

Queer Cultural Center - Wojnarowicz
Founded in 1993 Qcc is a multidisciplinary arts presenting organization that conducts artistic and interpretive programs exploring queer identity issues.

DIVA TV Netcast - David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) reads several works from his writings at the Drawing Center (New York City, 1992) as a benefit for Needle Exchange shortly before he died. DIVA TV was founded in 1989 as a video-documenting affinity group with ACT UP (AIDS_Coalition_To_Unleash_Power) an activist group famous for its direct action against bureaucratic inaction and drug company profiteering in the AIDS crisis and widely acknowledged as re-energizing civil disobedience tactics in the United States.

Visual AIDS Web gallery
Begun in 1994, the Archive Project is the largest national slide archive of works by artists with HIV/AIDS, used by curators, galleries, museums, historians, and students.

Exit Art / The First World, 548 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, 212-966-7745

Interview with Abraham Lubelski of Exit Art
Gracie Mansion Gallery, 407 East 6th Street, New York, NY 10003, 212-505-9577

P.P.O.W., 476 Broome Street, New York, New York 10013, 212-941-8642

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5th Ave. at 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028, 212-879-5500:
Pandemic: Imaging AIDS 2002-08-30 until 2002-10-27, Pretoria Art Museum, Arcadia, Pretoria ZA South Africa

New Museum of Contemporary Art, 583 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, 212-219-1222: contact: Rebecca Metzger, Public Relations Officer)

Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York, NY 10021 212-570-3676: books & audio recordings

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, 87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074 440-775-8668:
David Wojnarowicz's Burning Man Acquired by Oberlin's Allen Memorial Art Museum:
Press Release 1999 - The oeuvre of the painter, photographer, and filmmaker David Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS in 1992, is now recognized as one of the most powerful and complex to have emerged and developed in the East Village in the course of the 1980s. Though his work is not autobiographical in the strict sense of the term, it is a distinctly personal response to the brute tensions and conflicts of contemporary urban life.

The outlines of Wojnarowicz's traumatic life (1954-1992) are well known from the artist's numerous writings and interviews. Raised in New Jersey by a severely abusive father, he became aware of his homosexuality at an early age, He left home in his early teens and lived on the streets for several years in circumstances, which continued to subject him to physical and emotional violence. He began to write and take photographs around 1973 and slowly developed an underground reputation among young or marginalized artists in the Lower East Side. Like Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Michel Basquiat, Wojnarowicz first became famous through word of mouth rather than the art press, and for work on the street or in warehouses rather than gallery productions. By the early 1980s he was known mainly for his performances in the post-punk noise band "3 Teens Kill 4. No Motive" and for his stenciled posters for the band and which he pasted throughout the Lower East Side area. He began to focus exclusively on the visual arts during this period, producing paintings, films, and immensely ambitious installations and performances. He became associated with the East Village gallery Civilian Warfare in 1982, which became a focal point for some of the most aggressive installations, performances and paintings being shown at the time. It was also around 1980 that Wojnarowicz's painting -- mixed media works that combine acrylic with posters, photographs, or maps -- already contained the distinctive symbols that would reappear throughout his oeuvre, such as objects on fire, most often a burning house; a whole or fragmented map; a suburban or industrial landscape; a cow's head or cut meat; a sleeping; homosexual activity; and, from around the time his lover (the photographer Peter Hujar) became ill with AIDS, spermatozoa. Either stenciled or drawn in simple outlines, the images have a deliberately cartoonish and crude effect, like much East Village artwork. Yet Wojnarowicz's arrangements of his symbols of power, violence, anxiety, and need are compositional strategies -- odd spatial juxtapositions, layering effects, alterations of scale, hieratic divisions of the picture field, or bizarre reworkings of normal landscape composition -- the artist created a rather sophisticated framework for his "primal gestures" (the descriptive shorthand for aggressive East Village art in those days), and gave his works a strangeness and depth that far exceeded the slick images of Haring or the overwrought surfaces of Basquiat.

Burning Man distills the most characteristic features of Wojnarowicz's early-mid 1980s paintings into a work of unusual clarity and concentration. The entire field is covered with torn and collaged maps (in a 1989 interview, Wojnarowicz said that he associated maps with the power of national boundaries). Crude outlines of cubes, sliced by the painted black frame, denote urban or suburban buildings, which recede towards a wall of outlined mountains. the thin slice of sky is hot yellow with a sinking red dot of sun at dead center. Placed directly below the sun is a stenciled figure of man in flames, poised as if running, though he is not going anywhere.

"All of Wojnarowicz's work from this period," wrote John Carlin in 1989, " appears to be about representing a correspondence between self and society that is distorted and hidden in ,ass media. Wojnarowicz tries to show the relationship between the apparently incongruous aspect of our culture on both a thematic and formal level. He is reaching for and articulating a deeper chord, a finer thread, that holds things together just at the moment they appear inextricably torn apart."

Though there is Wojnarowicz print in the museum's rental collection, there is no work by this artist in the permanent collection. Wojnarowicz is recognized by many as the most interesting and powerful of those artists who aimed to develop a counter-cultural art practice in the East Village in the 1980s. The visceral force of his imagery, his interest in sign systems, and his direct mode of address exemplify important aspects of 1980s figural painting, a class of work that is not well represented in the collection, due to prohibitive costs. In the context of the existing contemporary collection, Burning man prompts illuminating comparisons and contrasts with various pop works, while its dystopic view of the modern landscape and man's place within it would thematically link it to a broad range of modern and contemporary works in the many different media.

Past Exhibitions
2000 - The End: An Independent Vision of Contemporary Culture, 1982-2000, Exit Art New York, NY. 2000 - Horse: The Male As Sexual Entity, Ron Judish Fine Arts Denver, CO. 2000 - Odd Bodies, The National Gallery of Canada University of Calgary. 1999 - Fever: The Art of David Wojnarowicz, New Museum New York, NY. 1999 - Fever: The Art of David Wojnarowicz, New Museum New York, NY. 1999 - True West, P.P.O.W. Gallery New York, NY. 1996 - David Wojnarowicz, Gallery 44 Center for Contemporary Photography Toronto, ON, Canada. 1995 - Sites of Being, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA. 1994-95 - Hal Bromm Gallery New York, NY. 1993 - The Subject of Rape, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY. 1991-92 - Art of the 1980's, Selections from the Collection of Eli Broad Foundation, Duke University Museum of Art Durham, NC. 1990 - Images of Death in Contemporary Art, Patrick & Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art Marquett University, Milwaukee, WI. 1990 - In the Garden, P.P.O.W. New York, NY. 1989 - P.P.O.W. New York, NY. 1987 - Ground Zero Gallery New York, NY
1987 - Art Against AIDS, Gracie Mansion Gallery New York, NY. 1987 - "Small Works", Gracie Mansion Gallery. 1987 - "The Four Elements", Gracie Mansion Gallery. 1986 - "An Exploration of the History of Collisions in Reverse", Gracie Mansion Gallery. 1986 - Cartier Foundation Paris, France. 1985 - Messages to the Public, Times Square Spectacolor Board New York, NY. 1985 - Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY. 1984 - C.A.U.C. Buenos Aires, Argentina. 1984 - Gracie Mansion Gallery. 1984 - "Salon Show", Gracie Mansion Gallery. 1983 - "Sofa Painting Show", Gracie Mansion Gallery. 1983 - Hal Bromm Gallery New York, NY. 1983 - From the Streets, Greenville County Museum of Art South Carolina. 1982 - "Famous Show", Gracie Mansion Gallery. 1980 - Lower Manhattan Drawing Show, Mudd Club New York, NY.

[This message was edited by TonyaKnudsen on 09-16-02 at 11:10 AM.]
Last edited {1}
Hatches -- It was impressive to meet you, such a stately figure of consequence with a wise, yet subdued kindness. wink I hope you like the Jackie 60 Fashion Forward shwag, I apologize for the interruption in your stage performance last night (that was not my doing, ahem, Daddy - I much prefer being on the dance floor!)

As I continue to delve into NYC in the 80s, I find more and more information about DWs work and the artists he collaborated with. Just when I thought I had a comprehensive list (albeit short from I went in search of information on director Tommy Turner. About whom I could only find his name listed in the credits -- no personal insights whatsoever, on about 50 web sites.

What is ironic about this is, only four days ago, I found myself a bit disoriented in the Lower East Side (F train skipped the 2nd Ave stop and I got out at Delancy). As I was standing there getting my barring, I ran into Zedd (who came to my rescue). Headed the same way, he pretty much led me within a block of my destination. Although we did have an interesting chat ... had I known then I'd be looking for some nugget of information about this person, I could have just asked him. But the Turner search, in truth, led me to loads more DW film and video references. So this is just part one, when I find more information on the titles that are just titles at the moment, I will add them. Also coming along audio listings and hopefully a visual gallery unique to the MBoards. Tonya

Stray Dogs (1985) Actor: Fan
Directed by Richard Kern (1985), Short
Credited cast: William Rice, Artist; David Wojnarowicz, Fan; Robin Renzi, Woman; and Montanna Houston, Bum.
User Comments: Would you die for Art? -

You Killed Me First (1985) Actor: Dad
Directed by Richard Kern, Short
Lung Leg, Elizabeth (as Lung); David Wojnarowicz, Dad (as D. Wojnarowicz); Karen Finley, Mom; Jessica Craig-Martin, Sister; Montanna, Cheese; and N. Cooper (II), Nick.
User Comments: Should've been an afterschool special! -

Manhattan Love Suicides (1985) Actor
Written and directed by, Richard Kern, Short
Credited cast: Bill Rice, David Wojnarowicz and Nick Zedd
About: Richard Kern produces Super-8 films that explore the dark side of human nature with surprising humor. Whether parodying B movies (Manhattan Love Suicides), TV docudramas (You Killed Me First), exploitation films (Submit To Me, Submit to Me Now), or pushing the limits of the music video format (Death Valley '69, Moneylove), Kern's work addresses taboo subjects with a candor un-paralleled in contemporary "underground" cinema. While largely fictional, his films are also a unique document of New York subculture during the 1980s, featuring many of its most celebrated and notorious figures, such as Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, Karen Finley, David Wojnarowicz, Nick Zedd and Sonic Youth. Richard Kern is a master of explosively sexual and violent filmmaking. His films are so shocking that they have stayed mostly within the realms of the underground, although his films have been distributed worldwide. He has risen from his beginnings in lo-fi, self-distributed shock-movies to create music videos for the likes of Marilyn Manson, King Missile, and Unsane. Hardcore DVD, from which the Sonic Youth track was excerpted, features 13 provocative short films by Kern, and is definitely for mature audiences only. Manhattan Love Suicides: 180 minutes of rare, color & B&W film shorts with Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins and more. Includes films such as Death Valley 69, The Right Side Of My Brain, You Killed Me First, The Bitches, The Sewing Circle, Horoscope, and Evil Cameraman. Music from Sonic Youth, Cop Shoot Cop, Dream Syndicate, Foetus Inc., and The Butthole Surfers. – /

Aids-Trilogie: Schweigen = Tod, Die (1990);
Schweigen = Tod (1990) (Germany: short title)
aka Silence = Death (1990) (USA) Actor: Himself ...
Directed by Rosa von Praunheim, Documentary

Postcards from America (1994) Writer:
Directed by: Steve McLean
Review 1: Postcards from America was filmed in the US but directed by a Brit (Steve McLean) who was inspired by the poems and essays of David Wojnarowicz who died of AIDS in 1993. This is essentially a non-chronological life story of a very unhappy gay man. Apparently, it is based much more on McLean's own life than on Wojnarowicz's. The story keeps jumping between a child abused by his father, a teenage hustler on the streets of New York, and a grown man wandering the Southwest desert. Obviously filmed with a negligible budget, the movie is inventive but comes off largely as a filmed play with characters often talking directly to the camera. It doesn't extactly leave you whistling a tune as you leave the theater, but you do feel like you've gotten some insight into another person's life--even if it is largely fictionalized. (Seen 19 May 1995) –
Review 2: Based on the writings of artist David Wojnarowicz, Postcards From America weaves together three semi-fictional stories from the life of a young gay man named David, during three different times in his life. In his early years, a violent suburban childhood is spent with an abusive father in New Jersey in the early 1960's. It leads to his years as a teenage hustler on the streets of New York, and eventually to his adult fascination with anonymous sex, the American desert and the open road. –

Where Evil Dwells (The Trailer) (1986)
Co-directed with Tommy Turner
Evil is a collaboration between filmmaker Turner and the late artist/writer David Wojnarowicz, based on the infamous "Satan Teen" Ricky Kasso, who killed himself in jail after he and a friend had been accused of murdering another boy in a satanic ritual in Long Island, N.Y. This trailer, all that remains of the feature destroyed in a fire, stars Wojnarowicz, Turner, Scott Werner, Joe Coleman, Jack Nantz, Baby Gregor, Rockets Redglare, Richard Klemann, Charlotte Webb, Lung Leg, Devil Doodie; music by Jim Thirwell & Wiseblood. -

THE FEAR OF DISCLOSURE PROJECT (Creative Time City Wide 1989) Video with Phil Zwickler
-- Film/Video Series Produced by Jonathan Lee 1989-1994
The Fear of Disclosure Project was initiated in 1989 by the late Phil Zwickler and was produced by Jonathan Lee. Over five years four film/videos exploring the topic of revealing HIV status in differing communities were produced. The project's earliest video Fear of Disclosure, 1989, by Phil Zwickler and David Wojnarowicz is an examination of the difficulties of revealing HIV status for gay men. (In)Visible Women, 1991, by Ellen Spiro and Marina Alvarez addresses HIV issues for women in the Latino/Latina community. This documentary focuses on how three women with AIDS explode notions of female invisibility and complacency in the face of the epidemic. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret), 1992, by Marlon T. Riggs explores HIV-related issues as they pertain to gay African-American men and focuses on five individual confrontations through music, poetry and at times chilling self disclosure. Out in Silence and Not a Simple Story, 1994, both directed by Christine Choy, offer a perspective on HIV-positive status in the Asian-American Community and shows Asian Pacific Americans who have chosen to use their HIV positive status to remedy the lack of information and denial about AIDS in their communities. -

Richard Morrison, US 1991, video, 15mins
Flickering and disappearing into a black screen, Wojnarowicz's talking head attacks the authorities' handling of AIDS and our cultural (mis)understanding of death: "No-one should act polite in the face of being slowly murdered" -

originally DW, US 1979, this version constructed by the Estate Project, silent B/W, super8-16mm, c.5mins
Stunning, stylised photography describes the fatal poignancy of the film's title. -

originally DW, US 1987, this version constructed by the Estate Project, silent B/W & Colour, super8-16mm, c.30mins
Possibly Wojnarowicz's finest cinematic work, a film that he repeatedly dissembled and put back together; a suspended plastic eyeball revolves like the globe, newspaper headlines describe death and murder, a kid breathes actual and prophetic fire on the streets of Mexico. -

East Village Compilation (1989) Actor
Directed by: Jim Covary, Compilation
Artist's-eye view of the tumultuous mid-eighties East Village scene. A fast-paced, jarringly soundtracked montage capturing the fun, the famous, and the forgotten at Limbo Lounge, Danceteria, Shuttle Theater, Rivington Street, 8 BC, Fashion Moda, and elsewhere. Features Karen Finley, Gary Indiana, grafitti pioneer Tracy 168, Missing Foundation, John Cage reading at Area, Miguel Pinero, Rat At Rat R, Robert Parker making sculpture out of a taxi, Rick Prol painting, David Wojnarowicz and Richard Kern's tableaux du mort You Killed Me First at Ground Zero; Joe Coleman exploding himself and geeking mice; Life Cafe art auction at 8 BC; gallery openings galore, and more. -

High Art (1998) Contributing artist
Last edited {1}
It was impressive to meet you as well Tonya, and your listing of DW's film work is very impressive. I wonder what ever became of the film we made together entitled, I think, "Brian Berlin". I was the main character and I OD'd in an alley at the end. David literally painted my face blue for the scene. But he really didn't have to. It was shot one freezing day in January on Charles Lane in the West Village.
BTW that is my friend Chris Sharp and his boyfriend dancing in one of the Phil Zwickler video segments while I stood on a ladder and poured water through a colander on them to simulate rain/tears. And, of course the Kern films are priceless.
This may be a lead for you, but it's in German, so perhaps, someone can interpret for us ...

Cabaret - der Klassiker mit Liza Minelli & Michael York, der den Bisexuellen spielt. Daneben auch noch bekannte Größen wie: Fritz Wepper und Helen Vita.

Eindrucksvoller Klassiker mit brillant choreographierten Cabaret-Nummern, der mit acht 'Oscars' ausgezeichnet wurde.

Zu Beginn der 30er Jahre kommt der englische Student Brian Roberts nach Berlin. In einer Pension lernt er die Amerikanerin Sally Bowles kennen, die jeden Abend als Sängerin und Tänzerin in einer zwielichtigen Nachtbar auftritt und von der großen Karriere träumt. Die beiden verlieben sich ineinander und ignorieren zunächst den Vormarsch der Nazis. Brian verdient sich sein Geld durch Englischunterricht. Seine Schüler sind Fritz Wendel, ein hochstapelnder Freund von Sally, der seine jüdische Abstammung verleugnet, um seine Karriere nicht zu gefährden, und Natalia Landauer, die schöne Tochter eines jüdischen Warenhausbesitzers. Auch Fritz und Natalia verlieben sich ineinander. Als Sally sich auf eine Liaison mit dem deutschen Adligen Maximilian von Heune einläßt, rast Brian vor Eifersucht, zettelt einen Streit mit Nazis an und wird brutal zusammengeschlagen. Kurze Zeit später gesteht Sally Brian, daß sie schwanger ist und nicht genau weiß, wer als Vater in Frage kommt. Brian stört dies jedoch nicht und freudig verspricht er ihr, die Vaterschaft in jedem Fall zu übernehmen. Da aber die Vorstellung von einem bürgerlichen Leben nicht in Sallys Träume paßt, läßt sie das Kind abtreiben. Daraufhin verläßt Brian Berlin, das mittlerweile schon fest in der Hand der Nazis ist.

Info: Das deutsche Publikum sollte ursprünglich eine Szene nicht zu sehen bekommen: Während einer Fahrt ins Grüne kommen Liza Minnelli, Michael York und Helmut Griem in einen Landgasthof, wo ein Hitlerjunge gerade ein deutsches Volkslied zum Besten gibt. Dies verwandelt sich im Laufe seines Vortrages in einen Marschgesang und veranlaßt sämtliche Gäste dazu, die Hand zum Hitlergruß zu heben. Auf Protest zahlreicher Kritiker wurde die Szene wieder in den Film aufgenommen. Die Innenaufnahmen zu 'Cabaret' entstanden in den Münchener Bavaria-Studios. Da in Berlin infolge seiner Kriegszerstörungen nur noch wenige urtypische Straßenzüge zu finden waren, wurden die Außenaufnahmen in Wien gedreht. -

Perhaps see also


For the rest of you I've found some new references and perspectives ...

David Wojnarowicz by Felix Guattari
Translation from: Rethinking Marxism, vol 3 #1, Spring 1990 (no original source nor translator given) Felix Guattari

David Wojnarowicz's creative work stems from his whole life and it is from there that it has acquired such an amazing power. It could even be said that it is through his plastic work and literary texts that he has turned himself into what he is today.

The authenticity of his work on the imaginary plane is quite exceptional. His "method" consists in using his fantasies and above all his dreams, which he tape-records or writes down systematically in order to forge himself a language and a cartography enabling him at all times to reconstruct his own existence. It is from here that the extraordinary vigor of his work lies.

David Wojnarowicz's intention is explicitly ideological: his aim is to affect the world at large; he attempts to create imaginary weapons to resist established powers. ... -

And on the Exhibition front ... check out ... "The Fales Library" at the New York University Library - Downtown Collection - David Wojnarowicz Papers

"Wojnarowicz's own labels on the dozens of boxes, sheets and envelopes he left behind read like poetry, offering a synopsis of his iconography, and revealing the range of his vision." (Lippard, 1994) -
DATE SPAN: 1977-1992

And also a great 1986 mention that should not be omitted from this topic ...

The crowd grows to a few thousand. John Sex works the guys (and girls) into a frenzy with his gyrating cover of "Secret Agent Man". 6'6" big, bad, bald porn star Dean Johnson rocks the house with his original "Bourgeois Boys". Underground band 3 Teens Kill 4, featuring artist David Wojnarowicz on toy piano, hypnotises the masses with their trippy sound effects. John Kelly as Dagmar Onassis sings his version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" which becomes the traditional Wigstock finale for years to come:

"By the time we got to Wigstock we were several thousand falls...
And I dreamed I saw the drag queens spraying hairspray in the sky and it made all the yuppies die"

The "Lady" Bunny is bewitching! -
Last edited {1}
Hey Tanya, unfortunately, the review is about the film Cabaret and the Brian in question is the Michael York character. Translated it might be something like this:

"And thus Brian leaves Berlin which is already in the firm hand of the Nazis."

Due to the "wacky" nature of this passage in German, Brian and Berlin just happen to fall side-by-side!

There are a million free translation apps out there, like Alta Vista, if you get stuck.
My education really went as far as 8th grade- I never made passed the first year of high school, got my G.E.D. later and went to a few semesters of college- left that as well, and everyone thought I was crazy when I received a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago,and said "fuck it- I don't want to go" and it was not because I think there is nothing more for me learn, they just were not teaching the things that I was/ am interested in- (even if I didn't know what it was I wanted to learn)But it is moments & realizations such as these- that I don't regret choosing to learn from life than institutions:
The information I receive from this forum in the short time I've been a member, has taught me more about art & artists, has sparked a motivation to be aware of the world around me & issues that affect me as an artist & of the artists who didn't make to the "top 40" of the artworld( like warhol-who did- and who I think is about as interesting as that bland-ass can of tomato soup I open up when there is nothing better to eat).. The point of this long winded post - I wanted to show my graditude for sharing your knowledge so openly....But to get to the subject at hand: I was so taken when I read about David Wojnarowicz and all that was said about this amazing man, who I never heard of until now,I was also touched by how humble Hatches sounds when he writes about working with David Wojnarowicz. Also many thanks to D, for opening the topic. It is a shame that an artist of this caliber is not more well known, but his art, at least of what I have learned from all of the posted info,is not about glamour and fantasy or "acceptable" issues, it seems to be the raw truth, and the ugliness most would rather forgot or ignore.

I, too, have been motivated, touched, and intrigued by Wojnarowicz. In 1994 ETC Magazine, for whom I was writing back home (in Atlanta) sent me to the Toronto International Film Festival on assignment to cover what was becoming a "smorgasboard of queer cinema." I remember sitting in the theater, around 4 in the afternoon, when Postcards from America was screened. That was one of the most pivotal moments of my 20's. I had never seen anything like it; I had never heard of David, was not familiar with him in any way (yet), but in that theater, he spoke to me. I just froze. It was uncomfortable and scintillating and correct. One of the few times I've left a film, saying to myself and anyone who would listen, "Yes! There's the important stuff. This is what matters."

A few years later, after moving to New York, a friend loaned me a copy of Closer to the Knives - A Memoir of Disintegration. I was hooked, and began to read as much of his writings as I could find. And then FEVER. He continues to arrest me.

I do not understand why (nor do I need to), but what you say, Tonya, makes sense to me. We are often unconsciously drawn to people, places and things that speak to us. The dots get connected later. DW's writings, visuals and the people in his life seem to find me again and again. Thank you Tonya for this - it's a great and meaningful service you've done.
Hattie, in April 2002 there was a film festival on DW in the UK, it seems to me that an exhaustive amount of research was put into getting all these works together for this show, which would entail contacting anyone who might know something about your missing film. I truly believe it is out there for the finding. My gut feeling is that if you were to contact the person who did the research for this show, explain to them who you are ... They'd love to talk to you, obviously you are an important figure in this body of work. They might recall seeing something like this in a private list of acquisitions that is not currently available for show or passed over for a more "recognizable" piece. If nothing else, this person might give you the best possible leads there are to follow to find it. This has been my gut instinct on this for months, but was hoping the film might turn up Elsewhere, i.e. in a foreign country.

I will make use of those translation libraries; so happy the web is fazing us back to punctuation-free Latin. Thank you for pointing them out. There is a German artist friend of mine I would like to learn more about, esp. his early years which he does not speak (before the wall came down) or does not remember, ... we get together every three years for five minutes and three drinks, and have the best time. I will scan some of his work this year. (I know he would enjoy my talking about it.). But I think he may have produced an out of print art book in the 80s that is not yet archived online yet. And only mention of it I have found is in German, now I may just be able to get that volume thanks to your alta vista suggestion.

Gigi, there is nothing wrong with not having first-hand knowledge of every artist. Believe me, my art education consists of one class at BU on photography through 1950 and "Art 101" for true Hill Billy Dummies. Anyone who would judge you for the handicap (which you will make up for quickly I'm sure) is an academic eletist and not worth your time. At the same time, knowledge is only passed on, when you listen and make use of what has been shared with you. Now back to painting my new apt. I'm thinking hot tub for the yard ....
Last edited {1}
I just re-read this entire topic. It's amazing, so much information. Tonya, you are insane... God bless you!

And Doug,
You're a little mistaken... and going to catch hell from ME!
It's just really sad to me that when most people think of New York Art, they think of Warhol, or Basquiat, who as far as I was concerned were more into keeping up the myth of the artist rather than actually producing essential art. I know I'm probably going to catch hell from some people, but what the fuck did those two do that were so damn interesting anyway?

well, that's a whole lot to explain but Warhol & Basquiat are major. Just look at the world around you. Turn on the TV (and don't say "I don't watch TV") It's a Warhol! You may not like it but it's there. And Basquiat's paintings are more beautiful than ever.

But this is about D.W.
Here is "Hattie as Rimbaud", 1979 -gift from the subject. I'm sure it was shot at "The Piers". (not that I was ever there)


Images (1)
  • hattie
Last edited {1}
I love the revisionist history that thanks to Google, continues to take place here. So it was that I got this corrrection about the naming of 3 Teens Kill 4, referring back to a post in this topic three years ago.

Here it goes-


Dear Mother/jackie Johnny and Chi Chi, this is max blagg calling in
to say I am still alive and well, and to correct a niggling little
item on your mother board. Ken Tisa did NOT come up with the name of
the band Three teens Kill Four. I dont think Kenny even came to
danceteria #1 which is where the band was formed from staff members.
I was in the original band with david and jesse, and I came to a
'rehearsal' with a list of names, from which we chose 'three
teens' (I got it from a newspaper headline)after my first choice,
"Sissies from Hell" was turned down as 'homophobic' by a rather
cautious Jesse. We performed in public about three times, notably at
the Danceteria bust benefit "Staph infection" which took place at El
teddy's Restaurant a hundred years ago. love to all, max Blagg
DW was a brilliant artist, I can't believe I never knew him. I too have been borrowing the Fever book on and off from my local library. There is so much details and so many statements were made in there, a myriad of statements. Close to the Knives is a great book, and I also checked it out at my local library and finally bought a copy, and it took a while for me to find one, and I had it special ordered from (get this!) Borders, as well as The Waterfront Journals and his diaries.
Hatches, during our discussions about Threepenny I had to do a double take when I saw your real name in one of the posts, and then I thought why does that name sound familiar, and thought nothing of it till I checked out Fever again and saw the Rimbaud photos and read the pieces that were written up about DW and I thought WOW..So that's who that is! What a life you've had. It makes me look boring and reminds me how I need to live a bit more. Girl, you are a true survivor.
Yes andreabiscotti, 'tis part of my chequered past... I don't know about you needing to live more, though-- simply by exposing yourself to David and Brecht & Weill, you are light years ahead of most in the living department...

And yes, Mr. Joe, the Rosa von Praunheim film! Isn't it where David's mouth gets sewn up? (that was simulated BTW.) Also in the film is the great Emilio Cubeiro... In the mid-1970's, a magazine came out called "Mouth Of the Dragon: A Poetry Journal Of Male Love" (what a title!). I got the first issue at Oscar Wilde-- it was the first of its kind, along with Boston's "Fag Rag." I sent them some of my work and was not only published, but Andrew Bifrost the editor, invited me to read in Prospect Park (funded by the NYSCA btw (!)). Also on the bill was Emilio, who blew me away with his mixture of poetry, early rap and rock. Let me just say that Emilio's performance was one of the events that changed my whole outlook on poetry and what it could be-- the other event was seeing Patti Smith perform with just a piano behind her.

I also saw David read at a later "Mouth Of the Dragon" event, also, I believe in Prospect Park-- and the rest is herstory.
Well, it's fascinating to me, Hattie, that all of this important work that was being produced by you all, work that serves as the documents we need (lest the world fall into even more denial about AIDS, homophobia, abuse, politics, activisim and art than it already has) was informing my sense of the world long before I met you or even made it to New York.

When you and I were doing the Boy Wonder Fridays at Wonderbar, I began connecting some more dots between David, you, me and a certain **sigh** art director I had fallen hard for (hint - he used to go go dance for Linda Simpson about 20,000 years ago). The rest falls under the theory of relativity.

I haven't viewed the film yet (it's in the mail) and I'll have to use my neighbor's VCR...I've placed a rather large order through Amazon to get my hands on a lot DW's works that I haven't had access to before now.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.