(b New York, 4 Nov 1946; d Boston,
9 March 1989). American photographer, sculptor and collagist. In the
early 1970s, after studying at the Pratt Institute of Art in
Brooklyn (1963–70), he produced a number of assemblages and collages
from magazine photographs often altered by spray painting. In one
such work, Julius of California (1971; Charles Cowles priv. col.,
see Marshall, p. 21), he drew a circle around the male figure’s
genitals as a subversion of the usual practice of censorship. He
soon began to take his own black-and-white photographs with a
Polaroid camera, incorporating them into collages (e.g.
Self-portrait, 1971; Charles Cowles priv. col., see Marshall, p. 17)
or arranging them in sequences, as in Patti Smith (Don’t Touch here)
(1973; artist’s col., see Marshall, p. 27), a portrait of the poet
and singer who was one of his favourite models. Within a year of
showing his Polaroids in his first one-man show (New York, Light
Gal., 1973) he began to use a large format press camera, followed
soon afterwards by a Hasselblad. As his interest in photography
increased, so he looked more closely for guidance to such earlier
photographers as Nadar, Julia Margaret Cameron and F. Holland Day.
His photographs of the later 1970s include a number of homo-erotic,
sado-masochistic images, such as Helmut (1978; see Marshall, p. 70).
Here, as in other works, the presentation of a carefully posed
figure against a plain paper or cloth backdrop creates a strong
formal structure in counterpoint to the shock value and intensity of
the subject-matter. This formal emphasis is even more apparent in
the flower and still-life works, such as Pan Head and Flower (1976;
Holly Solomon priv. col., see Marshall, p. 46).