In 1989, David creates new work and mounts his largest solo show, “In the Shadow of Forward Motion,” at P·P·O·W gallery early in the year. He begins creating work in the darkroom of Peter Hujar’s loft including his Sex Series which draws the ire of conservative clergy and congressmen. Suddenly, he is caught up in the right-wing criticism of the National Endowment of the Arts for funding artists like himself, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. David’s essay “Post Cards from America: X-Rays from Hell” for the Artists Space exhibition catalog “Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing,” organized by Nan Goldin also draws fire. He is featured in Rosa von Praunheim and Phil Zwickler’s film Silence = Death about the AIDS crisis in New York. His friend Cookie Mueller and her husband Vitorio Scarpati both die of AIDS-related illness.
Explore the images below to learn more about David’s turbulent life in 1989.