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Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay @ De Young Museum, SF

Photography // Thursday, 19 Jun 2014

“Photography is a very social code for intimacy,” observed Anthony Friedkin at the press preview for his current show. And I discovered that he’s easy to talk with, so approachable. One conversation, and it’s immediately understandable how he was able, at age 19, to gain the trust of the members of the Gay Community Services Center in Los Angeles and hang backstage with the cast of the Cockettes in San Francisco. As Curator Julian Cox writes in Reflections on The Gay Essay, the young photographer‘s goal in this project was “To conjure its spiritual and emotional core through photography. He was most interested in men and women who were trying to live openly, expressing their sexuality and a burgeoning sense of personal freedom, and improvising ways to change the culture.”

Friedkin’s described how he chose the size of the portraits to afford a kind of face to face experience where the viewer could share the humanity of the moment. The Gay Essay is timeless, and deserves a peaceful stroll through San Francisco’s De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay runs through January 11, 2015 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

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