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Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz

by

Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In December 2010, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington made headlines when it responded to protests from the Catholic League by voluntarily censoring an excerpt of David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly from its show on American portraiture.
 
Why a work of art could stir such emotions is at the heart of Cynthia Carr's Fire in the Belly, the first biography of a beleaguered art-world figure who became one of the most important voices of his generation. Wojnarowicz emerged from a Dickensian childhood that included orphanages, abusive and absent parents, and a life of hustling on the street. He first found acclaim in New York's East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and '80s for its abandoned buildings, junkies, and burgeoning art scene. Along with Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wojnarowicz helped redefine art for the times.

As uptown art collectors looked downtown for the next big thing, this community of cultural outsiders was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. The ensuing culture war, the neighborhood's gentrification, and the AIDS crisis then devastated the East Village scene. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS in 1992 at the age of thirty-seven. Carr's brilliant biography traces the untold story of a controversial and seminal figure at a pivotal moment in American culture.

Review:

"In this lucidly composed, skillfully contextualized first complete biography of David Wojnarowicz, former Village Voice reporter Carr (Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America) reveals how the controversial artist's life experience shaped his art and politics. Carr begins by describing Wojnarowicz's abusive, chaotic childhood, which couldn't be redeemed despite his intense love for drawing. Tracing his early life as a withdrawn, unstable student, sometime hustler, and store clerk in the troubled New York of the late 1960s and early '70s, Carr reveals the artist's struggle to express his emerging gay identity and the violent intensity of his family life. Meeting fellow artist Peter Hujar, who became his partner and artistic mentor, was a turning point in Wojnarowicz's life: '‘Everything I made, I made for Peter.'' Vividly detailing the East Village art scene and Wojnarowicz's place in it, Carr also depicts the personal and professional significance of his relationships with female artists like Kiki Smith, Judy Glantzman, and Karen Finley. The most powerful sections of this engrossing book give insight into the intersection between the culture wars of the early 1990s and Wojnarowicz's 1991 work, Tongues of Flame. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The first full biography of legendary East Village artist and gay activist David Wojnarowicz, whose work continues to provoke twenty years after his death.

Synopsis:

David Wojnarowicz was an abused child, a teen runaway who barely finished high school, but he emerged as one of the most important voices of his generation. He found his tribe in New Yorks East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and 80s for drugs, blight, and a burgeoning art scene. His creativity spilled out in paintings, photographs, films, texts, installations, and in his life and its recounting—creating a sort of mythos around himself. His circle of East Village artists moved into the national spotlight just as the AIDS plague began its devastating advance, and as right-wing culture warriors reared their heads. As Wojnarowiczs reputation as an artist grew, so did his reputation as an agitator—because he dealt so openly with his homosexuality, so angrily with his circumstances as a Person With AIDS, and so fiercely with his would-be censors.

Fire in the Belly is the untold story of a polarizing figure at a pivotal moment in American culture—and one of the most highly acclaimed biographies of the year.

Synopsis:

In December 2010, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington made headlines when it responded to protests from the Catholic League by voluntarily censoring an excerpt of David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly from its show on American portraiture. Why a work of art could stir such emotions is at the heart of Cynthia Carr's Fire in the Belly, the first biography of a beleaguered art-world figure who became one of the most important voices of his generation. Wojnarowicz emerged from a Dickensian childhood that included orphanages, abusive and absent parents, and a life of hustling on the street. He first found acclaim in New York's East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and '80s for its abandoned buildings, junkies, and burgeoning art scene. Along with Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wojnarowicz helped redefine art for the times. As uptown art collectors looked downtown for the next big thing, this community of cultural outsiders was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. The ensuing culture war, the neighborhood's gentrification, and the AIDS crisis then devastated the East Village scene. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS in 1992 at the age of thirty-seven. Carr's brilliant biography traces the untold story of a controversial and seminal figure at a pivotal moment in American culture.

About the Author

Cynthia Carr was a columnist and arts reporter for the Village Voice from 1984 to 2003. Writing under the byline C. Carr, she specialized in experimental and cutting-edge art, especially performance art. Some of these pieces are now collected in On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century. She is also the author of Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, Bookforum, Modern Painters, the Drama Review, and other publications. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. Carr lives in New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596915336
Author:
Carr, Cynthia
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Cynthia Carr
Author:
Barber, Kathleen (Kathy)
Author:
Stemen, Sara
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Artists, Architects, Photographers
Subject:
General
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Subject:
Biography-Artists Architects and Photographers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW throughout; 16p color insert
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Style and Design
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Featured Titles
Biography » Artists, Architects, and Photographers
Biography » Gay and Lesbian
Featured Titles » Biography
Gay and Lesbian » History and Social Science » History and Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$35.00 In Stock
Product details 624 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596915336 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this lucidly composed, skillfully contextualized first complete biography of David Wojnarowicz, former Village Voice reporter Carr (Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America) reveals how the controversial artist's life experience shaped his art and politics. Carr begins by describing Wojnarowicz's abusive, chaotic childhood, which couldn't be redeemed despite his intense love for drawing. Tracing his early life as a withdrawn, unstable student, sometime hustler, and store clerk in the troubled New York of the late 1960s and early '70s, Carr reveals the artist's struggle to express his emerging gay identity and the violent intensity of his family life. Meeting fellow artist Peter Hujar, who became his partner and artistic mentor, was a turning point in Wojnarowicz's life: '‘Everything I made, I made for Peter.'' Vividly detailing the East Village art scene and Wojnarowicz's place in it, Carr also depicts the personal and professional significance of his relationships with female artists like Kiki Smith, Judy Glantzman, and Karen Finley. The most powerful sections of this engrossing book give insight into the intersection between the culture wars of the early 1990s and Wojnarowicz's 1991 work, Tongues of Flame. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
The first full biography of legendary East Village artist and gay activist David Wojnarowicz, whose work continues to provoke twenty years after his death.
"Synopsis" by ,
David Wojnarowicz was an abused child, a teen runaway who barely finished high school, but he emerged as one of the most important voices of his generation. He found his tribe in New Yorks East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and 80s for drugs, blight, and a burgeoning art scene. His creativity spilled out in paintings, photographs, films, texts, installations, and in his life and its recounting—creating a sort of mythos around himself. His circle of East Village artists moved into the national spotlight just as the AIDS plague began its devastating advance, and as right-wing culture warriors reared their heads. As Wojnarowiczs reputation as an artist grew, so did his reputation as an agitator—because he dealt so openly with his homosexuality, so angrily with his circumstances as a Person With AIDS, and so fiercely with his would-be censors.

Fire in the Belly is the untold story of a polarizing figure at a pivotal moment in American culture—and one of the most highly acclaimed biographies of the year.
"Synopsis" by ,
In December 2010, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington made headlines when it responded to protests from the Catholic League by voluntarily censoring an excerpt of David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly from its show on American portraiture. Why a work of art could stir such emotions is at the heart of Cynthia Carr's Fire in the Belly, the first biography of a beleaguered art-world figure who became one of the most important voices of his generation. Wojnarowicz emerged from a Dickensian childhood that included orphanages, abusive and absent parents, and a life of hustling on the street. He first found acclaim in New York's East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and '80s for its abandoned buildings, junkies, and burgeoning art scene. Along with Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wojnarowicz helped redefine art for the times. As uptown art collectors looked downtown for the next big thing, this community of cultural outsiders was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. The ensuing culture war, the neighborhood's gentrification, and the AIDS crisis then devastated the East Village scene. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS in 1992 at the age of thirty-seven. Carr's brilliant biography traces the untold story of a controversial and seminal figure at a pivotal moment in American culture.
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