Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
'It kills me to look at my old photographs of myself and my friends… We were such beautiful, sexy kids but we always felt bad because we thought we were ugly at the time. It was because we were such outcasts in high school and so unpopular. We believed what other people said. If any one of us could have seen how attractive we really were we might have made something better of our lives. I'm the only guy that I know who wanted to run away to be a prostitute.' Mark Morrisroe, quoted by essayist Linda Yablonsky in Mark Morrisroe.
On Thursday, June 9th, ARTBOOK @ Paper Chase in Los Angeles hosted an evening celebrating the life and work of Mark Morrisroe, the seminal artist at the heart of the Boston School of photography and a key figure in the New York downtown scene of the 80s. read the full post
On Saturday, March 5, 2011, the first U.S. retrospective exhibition of Mark Morrisroe's work opened at Artists Space in New York. The heartbreaking show features photographs, polaroids, and ephemera, including issues of the punk zine Dirt, which Morrisroe co-founded with friend Lynelle White. read the full post
Published by Moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Edited and with text by Teresa Philo Gruber. Preface by Elisabeth Lebovici.
The photographs of Mark Morrisroe (1959–1989) feature a revolving cast of characters--childhood friends, “Boston school” allies such as Jack Pierson, flatmates, lovers and hustlers--that freights them, in the wake of those early days of AIDS, with a tremendous poignancy, edge and melancholy. Struck by these qualities, the Morrisroe scholar and curator Teresa Philo Gruber decided to track down and interview the photographer’s friends, acquaintances and lovers, and to make this book--a portrait of Morrisroe through his milieu, or “family.” “There Was a Sense of Family”: The Friends of Mark Morrisroe characterizes Morrisroe as the photographer–director of his time and place. It includes interviews with Pia Howard, Jane Hudson, Kathe Izzo, Laurie Olinder, Jack Pierson, John Stefanelli, Mike and Doug Starn, Stephen Tashijan, Gail Thacker and others. Morrisroe’s portraits of these subjects are included alongside contemporary portraits by Gruber.
Published by Paper Chase Press. Introduction by Stuart Comer. Text by Lia Gangitano, Ramsey McPhillips.
The photographs of Mark Morrisroe (1959–1989) are steeped in fragility, both as material objects scored and pockmarked by the vicissitudes of time, and as forlorn commemorations of brief moments in all too brief lives. In this sense, the photographs are also objects of ephemera, of a piece with Morrisroe’s equally fragile magazines, collages and drawings, which this volume compiles for the first time. Containing much previously unpublished work, Mark Dirt includes spreads from Morrisroe’s punk zine Dirt (“he sort of invented the Boston punk scene,” Jack Pierson later recalled of his former lover), as well as correspondence and notes by the artist, sketches and even his last will and testament. All of these documents have been assembled by Morrisroe’s longtime partner Ramsey McPhillips, and represent the most complete survey of the artist’s non-photographic works.
Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Beatrix Ruf, Thomas Seelig. Text by Stuart Comer, Elisabeth Lebovici, Fionn Meade, Linda Yablonsky.
A luminous comet shooting across the late 70s constellation of photographers and artists that included Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, Jack Pierson and Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Mark Morrisroe produced an incredibly rich and various body of work in the brief ten-plus years in which he was active. He survived a fraught childhood and teen years as a prostitute (he was once shot by a client) to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he made friendships with Goldin, Armstrong and others, performed in drag under the name Sweet Raspberry, cofounded the punk zine Dirt ("he sort of invented the Boston punk scene," Jack Pierson later recalled) and eventually graduated from the school with honors. Shortly after, Morrisroe moved to New York, acquired a Polaroid camera and began photographing. Most of his photographs are portraits--of hustlers, lovers, friends and of himself--or hand-painted photograms. Morrisroe is also famed for his X-ray self-portraits, which show the bullet lodged near his spine after his shooting. All of his output carries this reckless, go-for-broke character, and an edge of urgency and necessity. After his death (from AIDS-related illnesses), more than 2,000 Polaroids were found among his possessions. This first comprehensive monograph compiles photographs and ephemera from the early punk years to Super-8 films, photograms and the late self-portraits. More than 500 photographs are reproduced here, alongside essays and an extensive biography. Born to a drug-addicted mother, Mark Morrisroe (1959-1989) left home at 13, began hustling at 15 and at 17 was shot in the back by a client. The entirety of Morrisroe's brief life was characterized by danger and poverty, and mythologized by him as such: his mother was a friend and neighbor of Albert DeSalvo (aka the Boston Strangler) and Morrisroe claimed to be his illegitimate son. Morrisroe died in 1989.