Never released or printed up until 2018, these photographs of “1987, God Save N.Y.C.” are part of my early work, my first steps as a young photographer, documenting NYC night live. I borrowed the title “God Save N.Y.C.” to the eponym label of the collection that the late Stephen Sprouse launched in 1987.
1987 marks a sharp transition from the glittering Eighties to the terrifying reality of AIDS and economy collapse. It starts with the death of Andy Warhol and ends with the crash of Wall Street! AIDS with its deadly sentence modifies the social relations. Activists of the gay community mobilize to create ACT UP. The night scene becomes a survival defiance with Susanne Bartsch’s parties at Savage. The coronation of house music and hip hop finds its temples with Black Market house parties or warehouse parties like Payday or Milky Way.
…Then went over to the Tunnel and they gave us the best dressing room,but it was absolutely freezing. I had all my makeup with me. Miles Davis was there and he has absolute delicate fingers. They’re the same length as mine but half the width. I’d gone with Jean Michel last year to see his show at the Beacon, and I’d met him in the sixties at that store on Christopher Street, Hernando’s where we used to get leather pants. I reminded him that I’d met him there and he said he remembered. Miles is a clotheshorse. And we made a deal that we’d trade ten minutes of him playing music for me, for me doing his portrait. He gave me his address and a drawing-he draws while he gets his hair done. His hairdresser does the hair weaving, the extensions.
They did a $5000 custom outfit for Miles with gold musical notes on it and everything, and they didn’t do a thing for me, they were so mean. They could’ve made me a gold palette or something. So I looked like the poor step child.and in the end they even(laughs) told me I walked to slow…