“Alvin Baltrop”

“Alvin Baltrop (1948–2004), who sometimes lived in a van and supported himself by doing odd jobs, photographed a range of daily vignettes—among them leisurely sunbathing, sexual acts, and crime scenes—during New York City’s 1970s financial crisis and the LGBTQ community’s struggle for civil rights.”

Alvin Baltrop (1948–2004), who sometimes lived in a van and supported himself by doing odd jobs, photographed a range of daily vignettes—among them leisurely sunbathing, sexual acts, and crime scenes—during New York City’s 1970s financial crisis and the LGBTQ community’s struggle for civil rights. Baltrop began taking pictures at age seventeen and, in 1969, joined the US Navy, where he captured fellow sailors both clothed and nude. That experience later informed his documentation of underground gay culture along the West Side piers and an isolated section of the West Side Highway. Over 170 photographs, rarely shown during Baltrop’s lifetime, are on view in this exhibition, along with the artist’s personal memorabilia, from letters and family photos to graphic design work and posters.