1979-81—Early Images

Arthur Rimbaud in New York 1978-1979

Arthur Rimbaud in New York, 1978-1979. Gelatin silver print on paper, 32,8 x 24,6 cm


David explores the Hudson River piers,  stencils abandoned cars and begins photographing his “Arthur Rimbaud in New York” series with Brian Butterick. He begins working in after-hours clubs, like Danceteria, and forms the band 3 Teens Kill 4 with friends. With the help of a Danceteria bartender, Max Blagg, he publishes his “Sounds in the Distance” monologues.

In December of 1980, David has a brief affair with photographer Peter Hujar who becomes David’s greatest mentor.

In this period, homosexuality is finally decriminalized in New York State. The Center for Disease Control announces the discovery of a “gay cancer” but indicates no evidence of contagion.

Explore the images below to learn more about David’s late twenties.