Published by Skira. Edited with text by Antonio Sergio Bessa. Text by Douglas Crimp.
Portraits of clandestine gay life on Manhattan's piers, in an authoritative overview published for Alvin Baltrop's first retrospective
For 11 years in 1970s and '80s Manhattan, the Bronx-born photographer Alvin Baltrop obsessively documented cruisers, sunbathers, fornicators and friends around the city's piers, in that brief moment after the Stonewall riots and before the explosion of the AIDS epidemic. The largest book yet published on the photographer, The Life and Times of Alvin Baltrop presents those photographs and others, including many that have never been seen in public, and is published on the occasion of Baltrop's first-ever retrospective at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Although initially terrified of the piers, I began to take these photos as a voyeur [and] soon grew determined to preserve the frightening, mad, unbelievable, violent, and beautiful things that were going on at that time," Baltrop wrote in the preface to an unfinished book of these photographs. "To get certain shots, I hung from the ceilings of several warehouses utilizing a makeshift harness, watching and waiting for hours to record the lives that these people led (friends, acquaintances, and strangers), and the unfortunate ends that they sometimes met.
Published by TF Editores. Edited by James Reid, Tom Watt. Foreword by Glenn O'Brien.
Powerful, lyrical and controversial, Alvin Baltrop's photographs are a groundbreaking exploration of clandestine gay culture in New York in the 1970s and 80s. During that era, the derelict warehouses beneath Manhattan's West Side piers became a lawless, forgotten part of the city that played host to gay cruising, drug smuggling, prostitution and suicides. Baltrop documented this scene, unflinchingly and obsessively capturing everything from fleeting naked figures in mangled architectural environments to scenes of explicit sex and police raids on the piers. His work is little known and underpublished--mainly due to its unflinching subject matter--but while often explicit, his photographs are on a par with those of Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar and Enrique Metenides. While the outside world saw New York as the glamorous playground of Studio 54, Warhol's gang and the disco era, Baltrop photographed the city's gritty flipside; his work is an important part of both gay culture and the history of New York itself. This clothbound volume compiles the Piers series in one definitive monograph, a powerful tribute to a long-forgotten world at the city's dilapidated margins. Alvin Baltrop (1948-2004) was born in the Bronx, New York, and spent most of his life living and working in New York City. From 1969 to 1972, he served in the Vietnam War and began photographing his comrades. Upon his return, he enrolled in the School of the Visual Arts in New York, where he studied from 1973 to 1975. After working various jobs--vendor, jewelry designer, printer--he settled on the banks of Manhattan's West Side, where he would produce the bulk of his photographic output.
PUBLISHER TF Editores
BOOK FORMAT Clth, 11.75 x 9 in. / 128 pgs / 3 color / 117 duotone.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 10/27/2015 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2015 p. 30
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9788415931232TRADE List Price: $65.00 CDN $87.00 GBP £57.00
AVAILABILITY In stock
in stock $65.00
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
Published by Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Edited and with text by Valerie Cassel Oliver. Introduction by Douglas Crimp. Forward by Bill Arning.
Dreams into Glass accompanies the first major museum exhibition of African-American photographer Alvin Baltrop (1948–2004), whose career unfolded in the late 1960s amid a period of turbulent social and political upheaval. Following a stint in the Navy, Baltrop returned to New York in the 1970s and immersed himself in the city’s decaying landscape, documenting a post-industrial wasteland of vacant manufacturing buildings that included the piers located along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan. It was here that Baltrop captured his most iconic images of nocturnal danger and despair alongside intimate and voyeuristic portraits of the homeless, teenage runaways, prostitutes and clandestine sexual encounters. During this period, Baltrop captured Gordon Matta-Clark’s monumental piece “Day’s End” and the work of graffiti artist, Tava, now lost to history. This survey features over three decades of vintage and reprinted photographs as well as archival material--from Baltrop’s intimate portraits of Navy friends and other enlisted men to his poetic body abstractions and street photography to the documentation of an era of gay sexual abandon between the Stonewall riots and the AIDS pandemic.