Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

“Downtown Pix”

On a guided tour of “Downtown Pix: Mining the Fales Archives (1961-1991),” Director Marvin Taylor pointed to a Jimmy De Sana photograph of an egg coming out of a man’s anus and asked aloud, “Is this gay reproduction?”

Curious yet? Tomorrow is the last chance to catch this and over 300 other iconic images produced by lower-Manhattan’s artists from 1961 to 1991.

Now on display at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, the exhibit reveals historic, often-homoerotic works pulled from the NYU Fales Library -- the nation’s leading archive collection of Downtown New York. Yet even more intriguing than the work itself is the man behind these archives, Director Marvin Taylor.

So how did Marvin Taylor, born in 1961 in Cottage Grove, Indiana (population 109), migrate east and come to direct the Fales Library at NYU?

Marvin said he always found solace in books— he learned to read and write well before kindergarten, and by the fifth grade, he was shelving books at the local, grade school library. It was “an escape,” Taylor said, “for the one lone fag” in his small town.

He attributes his fondness for rebellion to his Quaker upbringing, which gave him a “predisposition to speak out.” In college, Marvin said that he hung mostly with the artists and the punk kids.