Photography

Hujar, Peter (1934 - 1987)

In 1963, Peter Hujar travelled to Palermo and depicted the city’s catacombs and decayed dead bodies. An experience that would surely inspire his photography work during the 1970s and 1980s as he returned to New York where he observed counterculture personalities and marginals. With powerful and poignant portraits, he explored decay, sexuality and dared to mingle death with life. His views of the human body are intimate but never intrusive. He portrayed real life in its purest form should it be portraits of his friends, masculine nudes or animals as Nan Goldin wrote: ‘His pictures are exotic but not in a shallow, sensational way. Looking at his photographs of nude men, even of a naked baby boy, is the closest I ever came to experience what it is to inhabit male flesh. His photographs of animals have that same rare empathy, they are like highly personal portraits.’.
It is often said that death was not far from his lens and it’s true that as a gay man living through the height of the AIDS crisis, he was part of a community that had to face mortality - Peter Hujar would be one of the victims of the disease. Thus from his catacomb images to Candy Darling on her deathbed, Peter Hujar addressed death with empathy, leading Susan Sontag to affirm: ‘Peter Hujar knows that portraits in life are always, also, portraits in death.’

Peter Hujar, Candy Darling on Her Deathbed, 1973
Peter Hujar, Candy Darling on Her Deathbed, 1973
Peter Hujar, Bouche Walker (Reggie’s Dog), 1981
Peter Hujar, Bouche Walker (Reggie’s Dog), 1981
Peter Hujar, Man in Park, 1981
Peter Hujar, Man in Park, 1981
Peter Hujar, Abandoned Building, Caven Point N.J., 1984
Peter Hujar, Abandoned Building, Caven Point N.J., 1984
Peter Hujar, Be Sweet, Newark, 1985
Peter Hujar, Be Sweet, Newark, 1985
Peter Hujar, Bruce de Sainte Croix, 1976
Peter Hujar, Bruce de Sainte Croix, 1976
Peter Hujar, Charles Ludlam backstage at “Gallas”, Ridiculous Theater, 1984
Peter Hujar, Charles Ludlam backstage at “Gallas”, Ridiculous Theater, 1984
Peter Hujar, Christopher Street Pier #2 (Crossed Legs), 1976
Peter Hujar, Christopher Street Pier #2 (Crossed Legs), 1976
Peter Hujar, Cindy Sherman Suite- Self-Portrait as Cindy Sherman, 1982
Peter Hujar, Cindy Sherman Suite- Self-Portrait as Cindy Sherman, 1982
Peter Hujar, Cockette John Rothermel, 1973
Peter Hujar, Cockette John Rothermel, 1973
Peter Hujar, Couples for New York Scenes, Michael Fajans and Sheila Raj, 1969
Peter Hujar, Couples for New York Scenes, Michael Fajans and Sheila Raj, 1969
Peter Hujar, Daniel Schook Sucking Toe, 1981
Peter Hujar, Daniel Schook Sucking Toe, 1981
Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, 1981
Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, 1981
Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, 1981
Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, 1981
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Auntie Bellum, 1983
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Auntie Bellum, 1983
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Minnie the Maid, 1981
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Minnie the Maid, 1981
Peter Hujar, Gay Liberation Front, 1970
Peter Hujar, Gay Liberation Front, 1970
Peter Hujar, Great Dane, 1981
Peter Hujar, Great Dane, 1981
Peter Hujar, H.M. Koutoukas, 1979
Peter Hujar, H.M. Koutoukas, 1979
Peter Hujar, Jay Black and Kathy Black, 1969
Peter Hujar, Jay Black and Kathy Black, 1969
Peter Hujar, Keith Cameron (II), 1981
Peter Hujar, Keith Cameron (II), 1981
Peter Hujar, Kiki Smith, 1984
Peter Hujar, Kiki Smith, 1984
Peter Hujar, Lap Dog, 1982
Peter Hujar, Lap Dog, 1982
Peter Hujar, Larry Ree, ca. 1973
Peter Hujar, Larry Ree, ca. 1973
Peter Hujar, Lavinia Co-op, 1980
Peter Hujar, Lavinia Co-op, 1980
Peter Hujar, Louise Nevelson (II), 1969
Peter Hujar, Louise Nevelson (II), 1969
Peter Hujar, Lower Manhattan from the Harbor, 1976
Peter Hujar, Lower Manhattan from the Harbor, 1976
Peter Hujar, Man of pleasure- Hujar's
Peter Hujar, Man of pleasure- Hujar's "Orgasmic Man" (I, II & III), 1969
Peter Hujar, Orgasmic Man, 1969
Peter Hujar, Orgasmic Man, 1969
Peter Hujar, Parked Car, Brooklyn, 1976
Peter Hujar, Parked Car, Brooklyn, 1976
Peter Hujar, Paul Thek, Nude, Astride Zebra, 1965
Peter Hujar, Paul Thek, Nude, Astride Zebra, 1965
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait Standing, 1980
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait Standing, 1980
Peter Hujar, Quentin Crisp on the New York Subway, 1982
Peter Hujar, Quentin Crisp on the New York Subway, 1982
Peter Hujar, Reclining Nude on Couch, 1982
Peter Hujar, Reclining Nude on Couch, 1982
Peter Hujar, Sarah Jenkins with Head Brace (III), 1984
Peter Hujar, Sarah Jenkins with Head Brace (III), 1984
Peter Hujar, Seated Nude, Bruce de Saint Croix, 1976
Peter Hujar, Seated Nude, Bruce de Saint Croix, 1976
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait in Black T-Shirt, 1976
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait in Black T-Shirt, 1976
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait Jumping (I), 1974
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait Jumping (I), 1974
Peter Hujar, Stephen Varble, Soho, Franklin Street, 1976
Peter Hujar, Stephen Varble, Soho, Franklin Street, 1976
Peter Hujar, Surface of the Sea, Sperlonga, ca. 1963
Peter Hujar, Surface of the Sea, Sperlonga, ca. 1963
Peter Hujar, Sydney Chandler Faulkner as the Butler in Charles Ludlam’s “Camille”
Peter Hujar, Sydney Chandler Faulkner as the Butler in Charles Ludlam’s “Camille”
Peter Hujar, T.C. (II), 1975
Peter Hujar, T.C. (II), 1975
Peter Hujar, T.C., 1975
Peter Hujar, T.C., 1975
Peter Hujar, Two Drag Queens Mugging, Halloween, 1978
Peter Hujar, Two Drag Queens Mugging, Halloween, 1978
Peter Hujar, Two Queens in a Car, Halloween, 1976
Peter Hujar, Two Queens in a Car, Halloween, 1976
Peter Hujar, White House Collapsed, Queens, NYC, 1985
Peter Hujar, White House Collapsed, Queens, NYC, 1985
Peter Hujar, Divine at the Metropolitain, 1976
Peter Hujar, Divine at the Metropolitain, 1976
Peter Hujar, Catacombs, Palermo Catacombs #2, 1963
Peter Hujar, Catacombs, Palermo Catacombs #2, 1963
Peter Hujar, Catacombs, Palermo Catacombs #10, 1963
Peter Hujar, Catacombs, Palermo Catacombs #10, 1963
Peter Hujar, Catacombs, Palermo Catacombs #3, 1963
Peter Hujar, Catacombs, Palermo Catacombs #3, 1963
Peter Hujar, Boy Blowing Spit Bubble, 1970s
Peter Hujar, Boy Blowing Spit Bubble, 1970s
Peter Hujar, Brooklyn Bar, 1975
Peter Hujar, Brooklyn Bar, 1975
Peter Hujar, Car with Shattered Window, 1976
Peter Hujar, Car with Shattered Window, 1976
Peter Hujar, Gary in Park, 1981
Peter Hujar, Gary in Park, 1981
Peter Hujar, Nicolas Abdallah Moufarrege, Paris, 1980
Peter Hujar, Nicolas Abdallah Moufarrege, Paris, 1980
Peter Hujar, Lynn Davis, Nude with pillow, 1985
Peter Hujar, Lynn Davis, Nude with pillow, 1985
Peter Hujar, Cockette Popping Gum
Peter Hujar, Cockette Popping Gum
Peter Hujar, David Brintzenhofe #6
Peter Hujar, David Brintzenhofe #6
Peter Hujar, Divine, c. 1975
Peter Hujar, Divine, c. 1975
Peter Hujar, Susan Sontag, 1975
Peter Hujar, Susan Sontag, 1975
Peter Hujar, Madeline Kahn, 1981
Peter Hujar, Madeline Kahn, 1981
Peter Hujar, Pascal-scars, 1980
Peter Hujar, Pascal-scars, 1980
Peter Hujar, David Brintzenhofe applying make up (II), 1982
Peter Hujar, David Brintzenhofe applying make up (II), 1982
Peter Hujar, Edwin Denby, 1975
Peter Hujar, Edwin Denby, 1975
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Nefertiti, 1981
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Nefertiti, 1981
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Nefertiti, 1981
Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger as Nefertiti, 1981
Peter Hujar, Queen with fur stole, Halloween, 1979
Peter Hujar, Queen with fur stole, Halloween, 1979
Peter Hujar, Dean Savard reclining, 1984
Peter Hujar, Dean Savard reclining, 1984
Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz with hand touching eye, 1981
Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz with hand touching eye, 1981
Peter Hujar, Mario Montez Backstage at the Palm Casino Review, 1974
Peter Hujar, Mario Montez Backstage at the Palm Casino Review, 1974
Peter Hujar, John Heys in Lana Turner’s gown (II), 1979
Peter Hujar, John Heys in Lana Turner’s gown (II), 1979
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait in the Baths, 1979
Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait in the Baths, 1979
Peter Hujar, Scrumbly Koldewyn and Tom Nieze, The Cockettes, 1973
Peter Hujar, Scrumbly Koldewyn and Tom Nieze, The Cockettes, 1973
Peter Hujar, Running Horse, 1985
Peter Hujar, Running Horse, 1985
Peter Hujar, Iggy Pop for GQ Magazine, 1969
Peter Hujar, Iggy Pop for GQ Magazine, 1969
Peter Hujar, John Heys in Lana Turner’s gown (I), 1979
Peter Hujar, John Heys in Lana Turner’s gown (I), 1979
Peter Hujar, Peggy Lee, 1974
Peter Hujar, Peggy Lee, 1974
Peter Hujar, John Waters (II), 1976
Peter Hujar, John Waters (II), 1976
Peter Hujar, William Burroughs, 1975
Peter Hujar, William Burroughs, 1975
Peter Hujar, Lotte Eisner in Paris, 1980
Peter Hujar, Lotte Eisner in Paris, 1980
close

Share this picture on