Stephen Varble

1946–1985

Stephen Varble (1946–1984), was a performance artist, playwright, and fashion designer who was a fixture on the streets of SoHo in the 1970s.  His guerrilla practice aimed at disruption — of commerce, of gender roles, and of the institutions of art and celebrity. In elaborate sculptural garments made of street trash, Varble held unauthorized gallery tours through SoHo and protest performances in banks, Fifth Avenue stores, and in the street. A favorite of photographers such as Greg Day, Peter Hujar, and Jimmy DeSana, Varble’s art performed gender transformation and hybridity for both popular and art audiences in the 1970s.

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