jimmy desana june 24 – july 30, 2016


An iconic figure and witness of the 80’s New York punk scene, Jimmy DeSana developed more secretly an intense body of work in parallel to his spirited chronicle of the Lower East side alternative music movement.


Between 1950 and 90, DeSana created “101 nudes”, this exhibition presents the complete ensemble constituted of 56 half tone prints.  The grainy and overexposure of these images transcend today’s commonness of digital gloss and the outrageous intimacy of the subject matter disrupts ubiquitous depiction of censored privacy.


While using photography, the artist could be more accurately described as a sculptor.  The performative body is here considered as a prop, carefully constructed poses merging with mundane surroundings.  Quirky juxtapositions of skin and texture, humorous choreographies of alienation set an erotic tone aroused by both constraint and exhibitionism.  Jimmy DeSana died from AIDS complication in 1990 after what he described as “a decade of death and money”.  The portfolio was originally published in 1972 by the artist, and subsequently published by A.R.T. Press in 1991


Solo exhibitions include: Pat Hearn Gallery, New York (1986, 1988); Galerie Jablonka, Cologne (1989); White Column, New York (2007); Wilkinson Gallery, London (2008); Salon 94, New York (2013).


review (Purple Magazine)