Published by Fraenkel Gallery. Introduction by Jeffrey Fraenkel. Text by Vince Aletti, Stephen Koch. Interview with Fran Lebowitz.
Celebrated and revered by artists, the work of Peter Hujar remains something of a public secret, but his photographs dealing with sex and eroticism, made between the years 1969 and 1986, have come to define a certain era in New York. Today they are widely considered to be his finest and most radical work. Hujarís view of the human body is uninhibited and uncompromising, but his poignant explorations of sexuality and desire also project a universal humanity; as Nan Goldin said of Hujarís nudes, "Looking at his photographs of nude men, even of a naked baby boy, is the closest I ever came to experience what it is to inhabit male flesh." This monograph, published in conjunction with an exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, is the first to deal specifically with Hujarís photographs of love and lust. Captured in deeply textured black and white, these photographs present a view of human relationships that encompasses both the tender and taboo. This volume also contains an interview with author Fran Lebowitz from 1989, and newly commissioned essays by Vince Aletti and Stephen Koch. Peter Hujar (1934Ė1987) was born in Trenton, New Jersey and moved to Manhattan to work in the magazine, advertising and fashion industries. He documented the vibrant cultural scene of downtown New York throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1976, he published Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Susan Sontag. Hujar died of AIDS in 1987.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery/Fraenkel Gallery. Essay by Bob Nickas.
In the tradition of BrassaÔ's Paris at Night, Peter Hujar's Night brings together 43 hauntingly beautiful images of New York City. These pictures--most published here for the first time--illuminate a New York that has all but disappeared, one populated by the late-night demimonde, crumbling cobblestone streets, and landfills before the coming of Battery Park. Photographing costumed Halloween partygoers, dilapidated domestic interiors, cruisy city parks and trash-strewn parking lots, Hujar has left behind his own unique record of New York streets and their denizens, one as indelible as that of Weegee or Berenice Abbott. In a time before AIDS and a downtown before gentrification, Hujar's sometimes playful, often bleak photographs have an underlying sadness that is bound in the palpable mortality of his subjects, from revelers to decaying urban landscapes, all wrapped in a velvety blackness broken only by street lamps, fluorescent office windows and his camera's flash.