➤ ALVIN BALTROP/ SUNIL GUPTA, from p.26
creator speaks to New York City’s history as a
destination for people with artistic aspirations,
a dynamic now severely encumbered by astronomical
rents in the same buildings that are
backdrop to the men he photographed in their
short-shorts and crotch-bulging bellbottoms.
“Christopher Street was shot in New York in
1976 when I spent a year studying photography
at the New School,” Gupta writes in a brief, boldfonted
statement on the catalog’s back cover. “I
spent my weekends cruising with my camera.
In retrospect, those pictures have become both
nostalgic and iconic for a very important moment
in my personal history and the struggle
for gay liberation that had far reaching consequences
across the globe.”
In Gupta we also have a valuable example
of the queer veteran artist of color whose talent
and production are given their due in and
by the establishment while the artist himself
is still active. He is based in London, has work
in the collections of numerous art institutions
such as the Tate Museum and MoMA, and has
been the subject of exhibits worldwide.
In Baltrop’s oeuvre, the past meets the present
in one portrait from the artist’s Navy period.
Pictured are three young African American
enlisted men in uniform. The youngest
one, around 19, who is also closest to Baltrop’s
camera, points his tongue vertically out of the
BRONX MUSEUM OF THE ARTS
Alvin Baltrop’s close-up of Marsha P. Johnson.
corner of his mouth in a display often seen in
selfi es of people his age today.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALVIN BALTROP
| Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse
BRONX MUSEUM OF THE ARTS
Two naked men surrounded by a tangle of collapsed iron girders
and wooden beams on a Hudson River pier in a photograph by Alvin
at E. 165th St. | Through Feb. 9: Wed.-
Thu., Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-8
p.m. | Admission is free | bronxmuseum.org |
Exhibition catalog published by Skira at skira.
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GayCityNews.com | December 19, 2019 - January 1, 2020 27