Alvin Baltrop (1948-2004) was born in the Bronx, New York, and spent most of his life living and working in New York City. From 1969 to 1972, he served in the Vietnam War and began photographing his comrades. Upon his return, he enrolled in the School of the Visual Arts in New York, where he studied from 1973 to 1975. After working various jobs ⁠— vendor, jewelry designer, printer ⁠— he settled on the banks of Manhattan's West Side, where he would produce the bulk of his photographic output.

Powerful, lyrical, and controversial, Alvin Baltrop's photographs are a groundbreaking exploration of clandestine gay culture in New York in the 1970s and 80s. His work is reflective of the grassroots passion and raw energy of New York City’s underground gay culture. Baltrop focused his lens on the derelict warehouses beneath Manhattan's West Side piers; which was a lawless, forgotten part of the city that played host to gay cruising, art making, drug smuggling, prostitution, and suicides. Baltrop documented this scene, unflinchingly and obsessively capturing everything from fleeting naked figures in mangled architectural environments to scenes of explicit sex and police raids on the piers. While the outside world saw New York as the glamorous playground of Studio 54, Warhol's gang and the disco era; Baltrop photographed the city's gritty flipside. His work is an important part of both gay culture and the history of New York itself, and his photographs are a powerful tribute to a long-forgotten world at the city's dilapidated margins.

Backer has been involved with The Alvin Baltrop Trust since 2008. In 2011, she co-curated, Alvin Baltrop: Photographs 1965-2003, with Randall Wilcox, an artist, close friend of Baltrop, and executor of the Estate. Following the exhibition at Third Streaming, 3SSS designed a legacy-planning strategy for the Trust and began organizing the artist’s archive, which was donated to The Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2014. 3SSS placed Baltrop’s photographs in key private and public collections to establish a market for his work. Since 2016, we have partnered with Galerie Bucholz, who represents the Estate.

For sale inquiries contact Galerie Buchholz

Copyright & Reproduction Requests

For exhibitors & research questions please contact

Eva Mayhabal Davis, Archive Manager
eva@thirdstreaming.com

 
Alvin Baltrop,  Untitled   (Portrait of Marsha P. Johnson) , n.d. Silver gelatin print. Private Collection

Alvin Baltrop, Untitled (Portrait of Marsha P. Johnson), n.d. Silver gelatin print. Private Collection

Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989.  Contribution by Anastasia Kinigopoulo and Drew Sawyer and Tyler Cann, Edited by Jonathan Weinberg

Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989. Contribution by Anastasia Kinigopoulo and Drew Sawyer and Tyler Cann, Edited by Jonathan Weinberg

Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect  by Antonio Sergio Bessa and Jessamyn Fiore

Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect by Antonio Sergio Bessa and Jessamyn Fiore

A Journal of the Performing Arts Volume 20, 2015 -  Issue 3: On Ruins and Ruination

A Journal of the Performing Arts Volume 20, 2015 - Issue 3: On Ruins and Ruination

Trap Door Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility, Edited by Reina Gossett, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton. 2017.

Trap Door Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility, Edited by Reina Gossett, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton. 2017.

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALVIN BALTROP

The Bronx Museum of Arts, NY

Exhibition dates August 7, 2019 to December 8, 2019

More information Press Release

Press mentions in ArtNews, ArtForum, ArtNet News, Phaidon & ArtNet News must see list.

Hubert Fichte: Love & Ethnology

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin

Exhibition dates October 10, 2019 to January 6, 2020

More information here.

Souls Grown Diaspora

Apex, NYC

Curated by Sam Gordon

Exhibition dates from January 10 to March 7, 2020

More information here.

Current EXHIBITIONS

Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989

Grey Art Gallery, New York University (April 24 – July 20, 2019) & Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (April 24 – July 21, 2019), The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami, Florida (September 14, 2019-January 6, 2020), & the Columbus Museum of Art (March 6-May 31, 2020).

Press mentions in Art Newspaper, and Bloomberg News

PAST EXHIBITION

God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin

Exhibition dates January 10—February 16, 2019

Press mentions in the New York Times, Interview, The Paris Review, and VICE GARAGE

More information at David Zwirner

At the Hudson River Piers
selected by Douglas Crimp

Exhibition dates 29 June 2017 – 19 August 2017

Press: Village VoiceArtNewsArtforum, Photograph MagazineVice & Brooklyn Rail

More information at Galerie Buchholz

NEWS

 Listings of recent publications and articles on Alvin Baltrop.

“Unbuilding Gender Trans* Anarchitectures In and Beyond the Work of Gordon Matta-Clark”

October 2018, by Jack Halberstam
Full article here.

"21 Queer Photographers Illustrate What ‘Pride’ Really Means"

June 22, 2018 by by Stephanie Eckardt and Michael Beckert
Full article here

"Nothing Works Gordon Matta-Clark and the Problem of Architecture"

Gordon Matta-Clark Anarchitect by Antonio Sergio Bessa, 2018.

"Cruising the Queer Ruins of New York's Abandoned Waterfront"

A Journal of the Performing Arts, Issue 3: On Ruins and Ruination, by Fiona Anderson, 2017.

"Out of Obscurity: Trans Resistance, 1969-2016"

 Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility by Grace Dunham, 2016. 

"Photographers Who Have Captured LGBTQ Life in the African Diaspora"

August 16, 2017 by Yelena Keller
Full article here