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This month Bloomsbury USA is releasing the first full length–and much buzzed about– biography of queer downtown artist, activist, and provocateur David Wojnarowicz. Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS in 1992, is seen by many as one of the most influential and controversial artist of the 1980s East Village art scene.
Written by Cynthia Carr, the biography, titled Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz, unearths previously unexamined aspects of the artist’s short but noteworthy life.
From the publisher:
Cynthia Carr’s Fire in the Belly, the first biography of a beleaguered art-world figure who became one of the most important voices of his generation. Wojnarowicz emerged from a Dickensian childhood that included orphanages, abusive and absent parents, and a life of hustling on the street. He first found acclaim in New York’s East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and ’80s for its abandoned buildings, junkies, and burgeoning art scene. Along with Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wojnarowicz helped redefine art for the times.
As uptown art collectors looked downtown for the next big thing, this community of cultural outsiders was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. The ensuing culture war, the neighborhood’s gentrification, and the AIDS crisis then devastated the East Village scene. [Carr’s] biography traces the untold story of a controversial and seminal figure at a pivotal moment in American culture.
Read a short excerpt from the book here.