Peter Hujar Untitled Agosto Machado c early 1980s Gelatin silver print 10 8 in crop

Peter Hujar, Detail of 'Untitled (Agosto Machado)', c. early 1980s. Gelatin silver print, 10 × 8 in

On the occasion of the exhibition Agosto Machado: The Forbidden City at Gordon Robichaux Gallery, Visual AIDS and Gordon Robichaux invited artist Conrad Ventur to interview Machado about artists in his community who were lost to AIDS.

A pre-Stonewall street queen, avant-garde performer, and activist, Agosto Machado has collected and preserved artwork, ephemera, relics, shrines, and keepsakes of New York’s downtown scene for over fifty years. “Agosto Machado: The Forbidden City” was the first presentation of Machado’s singular collection outside of his apartment.

Among the many artists and performers discussed in the interview are Uzi Parnes, Arch Connelly, Steve Lott, Mario Montez, Ellen Stewart, Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger, Marsha P Johnson, Jack Smith, Grady Alexis, Jackie Curtis, and Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt.

Interview by Conrad Ventur

Camera: Sophia de Baun and Lauryn Siegel

Installation Photos: Ryan Page

Research: Elisabeth Kley, Mara Kelly

Thank you: Tabboo!

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Peter Hujar

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Ethyl Eichelberger

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Arch Connelly

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Jack Smith