Aug 18, 2022 - Sale 2613

Sale 2613 - Lot 186

Price Realized: $ 11,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000

JIMMY DESANA (1949-1990)

A portfolio titled 101 Nudes.
A rare example of this important early series from photographer Jimmy DeSana, who was part of the counterculture punk community of artists in New York in the 1970s and 80s. The set includes 53 halftones, the overall sheets measuring 279x391 mm; 11x15 3/8 inches, the printed title sheet with graphic red text; in the original plastic bag with a cardboard backing and the original paper seal and staples, the cardboard with DeSana's copyright, edition, and date stamps on verso. 1972.

Additional Details

Gifted by the artist to Robert A. Stefanotti, his gallerist, in 1974. DeSana moved to New York in 1973 and gifted several copies of this portfolio to friends and acquaintances who helped him get established in the city.

The grainy, flash-lit images in this portfolio, partially influenced by 1950s pornography, depict DeSana's friends and acquaintances posing nude in various domestic and suburban settings. Far from confrontational (indeed "without eroticism," as DeSana himself noted), the nudity here is organized around an examination of conformity, consumerism, sexual liberation, and queer identity. Printed himself on a small press (the images could not be commercially printed, given the subject matter), the images also recall the influence of Surrealism on the photographer.

DeSana was a part of the counterculture "punk" community of artists and musicians living in Manhattan's East Village in the 1970s and 80s. His work is both personal and subversive, and his voice and perspective as complex and revolutionary today as it was then.