WOJNAROWICZ, DAVID (1954-1992) Arthur Rimbaud in New York,
1978-79. Gelatin silver print, printed 2004, 12 7/8 x 9 5/8 inches (328 x 246 mm), posthumous print numbered 4 from the edition of 6, with the "Estate of David Wojnarowicz" stamp, initialled TWR. A fine example, no defects noted in raking light. Framed, the back mat with the P.P.O.W. Gallery label.
The series of several hundred photographs entitled Arthur Rimbaud in New York, to which this image belongs, was Wojnarowicz's first serious excursion into the medium of photography. In this, he was influenced by his mentor, friend and lover Peter Hujar, who had died in 1987. On his deathbed, Hujar had photographed Wojnarowicz, and Wojnarowicz Hujar. Wojnarowicz wrote of these images that he was playing with ideas of compression of 'historical time and activity' and fusing the French poet's identity with modern New York urban activities, mostly illegal in nature." The anonymous masked figures highlight the powerful resonance between Rimbaud and Wojnarowicz, who both fled broken homes, fled to the anonymity of big-city life, were gay and alienated, and died in their mid-thirties. His first publicly exhibited artwork, the series was partially published in the Soho Weekly News in June 1980.
C The Patricia and Donald Oresman Collection
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