Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay


For more than forty years, American photographer Anthony Friedkin (b. 1949), creating full-frame black-and-white images, has documented people, cities, and landscapes primarily in his home state of California. During the culturally tumultuous years of 1969 and 1970, Friedkin made a series of photographs that together offer an eloquent and expressive visual chronicle of the gay communities of Los Angeles and San Francisco at the time. This is the first book to explore the series, titled The Gay Essay, in depth, within the broader historical context that gave rise to it.

1969 witnessed the Stonewall riots in New York City and was a turning point in the history of community building and organized political activism among homosexuals in the United States. The Gay Essay provides a singular, intimate record of this crucial moment. Friedkin’s portraits, taken in streets, hotels, bars, and dancehalls, demonstrate a sensitivity and an understanding that has imbued the photographs with an enduring resonance. This handsome book features seventy-five full-page plates and is accompanied by engaging essays and a poem by Eileen Myles.

Anthony Friedkin
The Gay Essay

Series: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0300206371

Order the book: www.amazon.com

Backstage, The Palace Theater, San Francisco, 1972.

Backstage, The Palace Theater, San Francisco, 1972. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Couple in Front of Church, Los Angeles, 1970.

Couple in Front of Church, Los Angeles, 1970. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay/caption] [caption id="attachment_23064" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Kelly, Silverlake, 1972. Kelly, Silverlake, 1972. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Hustler in Drag, Hollywood, 1971

Hustler in Drag, Hollywood, 1971 © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Jean Harlow, Drag Queen Ball, Long Beach, 1971.

Jean Harlow, Drag Queen Ball, Long Beach, 1971. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

The Reverend Troy Perry, Gay Activist, In His Burnt Down Church, Los Angeles, 1973.

The Reverend Troy Perry, Gay Activist, In His Burnt Down Church, Los Angeles, 1973. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Brandy, Los Angeles, 1970.

Brandy, Los Angeles, 1970. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Divine, The Palace Theater, San Francisco, 1972.

Divine, The Palace Theater, San Francisco, 1972. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Couple, Los Angeles, 1970.

Couple, Los Angeles, 1970. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Drag Queen, Long Beach, 1971.

Drag Queen, Long Beach, 1971. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

Putting on Makeup, C’est La Vie Club, North Hollywood, 1972.

Putting on Makeup, C’est La Vie Club, North Hollywood, 1972. © Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay


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