Party Pics

Jimmy DeSana at Salon 94 is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: Jimmy DeSana's 1980s photos bring a downtown moment to life.

(Courtesy Jimmy DeSana Trust and Salon 94, New York)

Photos by the late Jimmy DeSana are now on view at Salon 94 on the Bowery in New York. With their bright colors and staged melodrama, they take me right back to ’80s New Wave. Surprisingly, most of the images still feel firmly rooted in that moment – this branch of photography still hasn’t been naturalized into the art mainstream. But today’s Daily Pic, dated 1980-82 and titled “Sweatshirt”, is an exception: It feels more fully performative than staged; more about documentation of a strange act than creation of theater just for the camera. It could almost be one of Erwin Wurm’s “One Minute Sculptures”, from two decades later.

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