1980s

Transgender Artist Reclaims Lost Boyhood in New Kids on the Block Paintings

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New Kids on the Block — singers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood — were the boy band heartthrobs who ruled the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with cheesy ballads and pop tracks, many of which had “girl” in the title. Artist Cobi Moules, who is totally not a Danny fan, had a childhood obsession with the group. But as a late-blooming transgender guy, Moules’ childhood perspective was more complicated than the average teen.
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Newly Discovered Artworks from Provocative Performance Artist and New York City Art-World Icon Colette

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Before Madonna and Lady Gaga were exploring the boundaries of gender and adopting fashionable personas for the stage, pioneering performance artist Colette, aka Colette Justine, had established herself as a New York art-world icon doing just that. In her 1973 debut, Colette “used stuff like ruched parachute silk to turn her living space into a walk-in artwork.” Colette is the subject of a new online exhibition at Gallery 98, which features a group of rediscovered works from the provocative artist, unearthed from her old storage spaces in Germany — where Colette currently resides (and lived/worked for a time during the 1980s).
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Never-Before-Seen Photos From the New York City Art World in the ’80s

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Paige Powell, who became the associate publisher of Andy Warhol’s Interview, arrived in New York City from Oregon in 1980. With camcorder and camera in hand, Powell joined the inner circle of art-scene luminaries and photographed them over the next decade. Jean-Michel Basquiat, her partner from ’82 to ’84 (captured in a series of reclining nudes by Powell), Francesco and Alba Clemente, Tama Janowitz, Stephen Sprouse, Madonna, and Keith Haring were just a few of her subjects.
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Photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron’s Diary of the New York Art World and Downtown Scene in the 1980s, Plus a Talk with the Artist

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Jeannette Montgomery Barron is known for her portraits of the New York art world and downtown scene in the 1980s — a vibrant, creative chapter in the city’s history. She’s photographed some of the world’s most famous artists, including Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat (thanks to a 1984 assignment from gallerist Bruno Bischofberger), and cultural figures of the time. From the Mudd Club and the Palladium, to the Factory and Bianca Jagger’s social circle, Jeannette Montgomery Barron was there with camera in hand.
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Underground and Alternative Magazines from the ’70s and ’80s That Capture NYC’s Downtown Art World

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If you wanted to find out the real deal behind the fashion, culture, nightlife, music, art, and film happening in New York City during the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, there was only one place to turn. Alternative and indie publications of the time like Paper Mag, New York Rocker, and Art-Rite captured the diverse intersection of art and life — and the covers of these magazines were just as exciting as the contents within.
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Finger-Paint Portraits of Patrons From a Times Square Bar in ’80s New York

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During the 1980s, Times Square in New York City was a radically different place. A center for sex and sleazy goings-on, the city was economically depressed, and crime rates hit an all-time high. One basement bar in Times Square became a center for artistic expression during one of New York’s darkest times, Tin Pan Alley.

Named after a section of the city where music publishers set up shop, former Tin Pan Alley bartender Cara Perlman created a series of finger-paint portraits of bar patrons — including now-renowned artists like Kiki Smith and Nan Goldin.
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