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         DAVID  WOJNAROWICZ     
         1954–1992

david wojnarowicz

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David Wojnarowicz was a painter, photographer, performance artist, and writer whose provocative works made him a well-known figure in the New York East Village art scene of the 1980s. Wojnarowicz endured a difficult childhood and struggled to make sense of his homosexuality—subjects that became a central theme in his art. During the height of a national controversy in 1989 concerning morality and censorship in the arts—engendered by an exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe—Wojnarowicz became embroiled in scandal himself. Following attacks from a host of politicians and religious leaders who called his work "pornographic" and "blasphemous," the National Endowment for the Arts revoked a ten-thousand-dollar grant for an AIDS-related exhibition in which Wojnarowicz was to participate. He challenged the NEA's ruling and, at the same time, brought a lawsuit against the conservative political action group the American Family Association for misrepresenting his art. He eventually won both campaigns. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS at age thirty-seven.

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (born 1952)
Polaroid, 1992
Published October 1992
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

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