Art haus

New Peter Hujar exhibit offers rare glimpse of queer 1970s NYC

Peter Hujar was an American photographer best known for his black and white portraits. He died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1987, at the age of 53. Now, his work is being showcased at The Morgan Library & Museum in an exhibit titled Peter Hujar: Speed of Life.

Hujar first started taken photos in the early 1950s and continued doing so right up until his death. His work often depicted queer people and other outcasts living on the fringes of society.

Related: Fetish photographer talks about being paid to photograph escorts doing chemsex

Peter Hujar: Speed of Life will run through May 2o and showcases over 160 of Hujar’s portraits and snapshots, including avant-garde nudes, drag queens, Bohemian queers, friends, and lovers.

Joel Smith, who curated the exhibition, said of Hujar, “He was an artist for whom the portrait defined what art could be. Everything he photographed he wanted to bring across with clarity, empathy and respect for the life behind the mask.”

Related: PHOTOS: Photographer Luis Movilla documents the beauty in male imperfections and homosexual desire

Here’s how Hujar explained his own work: “I make direct, uncomplicated photographs of complicated and difficult subjects. I photograph those who push themselves to any extreme and people who cling to the freedom to be themselves.”

h/t: New Yorker