Alphabetical List of People

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Barrows, Alan

Barrows was a co-founder of Civilian Warfare Studio with Dean Savard.

Bidlo, Mike

Bidlo is a conceptual artist who has worked with appropriation since the early 1980s. He was a friend and artistic collaborator of Wojnarowicz, and together they set in motion the Ward Line Pier Project by spreading word about its location and inviting artists to contribute.

Blinderman, Barry

Blinderman is a curator and art historian who curated David Wojnarowicz: Tongues of Flame at the University Galleries, Illinois State University, where he has been director since 1987. Previously, he was a critic for Arts Magazine and the owner and director of Semaphore Gallery in Soho and Semaphore EAST on Tompkins Square, which showed the work of Lower East Side graffiti artists along with other emerging artists.

Bonk, Keiko

Bonk is an artist, musician, and politician who resides in Hawaii. She was a friend and artistic collaborator of Wojnarowicz. She was part of the "Wrecking Crew"--the group of artists who created collaborative painting shows at Ground Zero Gallery--and performed with Wojnarowicz as the Velvet Underground in Mike Bidlo's recreation of Warhol's Factory at PS 1 Center for Contemporary Art in 1984.

Bressler, Doug

Bressler is an artist and musician. With Wojnarowicz, Bressler was member of the band 3 Teens Kill 4 and collaborator on the Mexico soundtrack

Brown, Steve

Brown was an artist and filmmaker who assisted Wojnarowicz with various film projects and installations. At the time of Wojnarowicz's death, Brown was working with him on a film version of ITSOFOMO.

Butterick, Brian

Butterick is a poet and performer. He first met Wojnarowicz through the poetry scene in New York City in the mid-1970s. He later collaborated with Wojnarowicz on 3 Teens Kill 4. They were also lovers and roommates in 1982. Poetry, photographs, and correspondence with Butterick can be found in the Wojnarowicz Papers.


Carr, Cynthia

Carr is a writer and cultural critic. She first met Wojnarowicz in 1982, just before becoming a columnist for the Village Voice. She conducted a series of interviews with him for a cover story for the Voice in 1990, and was one his caretakers in the last several months of his life. In 2012, she published an extensively researched biography, Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz.

Carr, Elizabeth (Lung Leg)

Elizabeth Carr (Lung Leg) is an actress, artist, and writer. She acted in many of Richard Kern's films in the 1980s. She starred alongside Wojnarowicz in Kern's film You Killed Me First (1985).

Colo, Papo

Colo is an artist who founded Exit Art with Jeanette Ingberman in 1982. Exit Art took the traveling retrospective Tongues of Flame, organized by the University Galleries at Illinois State University in November 1990.


Davis, Keith

Davis was a graphic designer who was deeply involved with the East Village gallery scene in the early 1980s, collecting artists' work and offering to let them use the equipment and supplies in his home. He and Wojnarowicz were close friends, and they traveled together. An interview he taped with Wojnarowicz, as well as Davis's will, can be found in the Wojnarowicz Papers.

Doughton, Steve

Doughton is an artist and filmmaker. He was a friend and collaborator with Wojnarowicz, contributing to the Ward Line Pier Project, and filming the 1987 collaboration Around Clown. Doughton assisted him with some installation work, and travelled with him, Philip Zimmerman, and Steve Brown on a road trip in 1985.


Ensslin, John

Ensslin is a poet, editor, and journalist. He organized poetry readings in New York and New Jersey 1970s and edited the mimeographed magazine, Novae Res, which published Wojnarowicz. He and Wojnarowicz became close friends, and briefly roommates in 1975. They co-founded a poetry journal RedM together, which produced one issue in 1977.

Erdman, John

With his partner Gary Schneider, Erdman runs Schneider-Erdman Inc, a photography lab in New York City. Erdman and Schneider were friends of Peter Hujar and Wojnarowicz; both artists printed exclusively at their lab. Erdman was previously a performer with choreographers such as Yvonne Rainer and Robert Wilson.


Finley, Karen

Finley is a performance artist, musician, and poet. She and Wojnarowicz were close friends from the mid-1980s until his death and they acted together in Richard Kern's film You Killed Me First. They connected over politics in 1990, when Finley sued the NEA after her grant was vetoed by the NEA's chairman John Frohnmeyer.

Foos, Jean

Foos is an artist and graphic designer. She and Wojnarowicz were friends from the early 1980s until his death. Foos and her partner Dirk Rowntree participated in the Ward Line Pier Project. At Wojnarowicz's request, Foos designed the catalogue for his 1990 retrospective Tongues of Flame and Aperture's 1994 publication Brush Fires in the Social Landscape.

Frangella, Luis

Frangella was an Argentinian painter and sculptor, and good friend of Wojnarowicz. They participated in the Ward Line Pier Project as well as the site-specific collaborative painting shows at Ground Zero Gallery and at the Neopolitan Gallery in Richmond, VA. Wojnarowicz also travelled to Argentina with Frangella, and showed with Frangella's Madrid dealers, Galería Buades.


Glantzman, Judy

Glantzman is an artist who showed with Civilian Warfare and Gracie Mansion in the 1980s, when she and Wojnarowicz became friends. Wojnarowicz hired Glantzman to assist with plans and production of the installation America: Heads of Family/Heads of State at the New Museum in 1990.

Goldin, Nan

Goldin is a photographer known for her intimate documentation of her and her friends' lives. She and Wojnarowicz were friends from the mid-1980s until his death, and she took many photographs of him. In 1990, Goldin asked Wojnarowicz to contribute to an exhibition she was curating for Artist's Space Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing, about the ongoing AIDS crisis. Wojnarowicz's contribution became the center of an NEA controversy when the NEA withdrew funding for the exhibition, in part based on the language in Wojnarowicz's catalogue essay "Postcards from America: X-Rays from Hell."


Hair, Julie

Hair is a musician who played percussion in 3 Teens Kill 4. Wojnarowicz would frequently work in her apartment during this period, creating stenciled posters for their band. She and Wojnarowicz also planned elaborate "action installations" together in the early 1980s, and she accompanied him on outings where he would stencil graffiti in the streets..

Hall, John

Wojnarowicz met Hall at the High School of Music and Art in New York City, and is one of the only friends from that period with whom he stayed in touch with for the rest of his life. In 1976, the two hitchhiked across the country from New York to San Francisco. Hall was one of the models for the photographic series 'Arthur Rimbaud in New York.

Hewson, Montana (Montanna)

Montanna was an artist who was friends with Tommy Turner and Richard Kern. Wojnarowicz met Hewson at the Peppermint Lounge. He was featured alongside Wojnarowicz in Kern’s film You Killed Me First. Wojnarowicz wanted to do a profile on Hewson for his last chapter of Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration but before being able to get in contact with him, Hewson committed suicide (Jan. 18, 1990). Despite this, Wojnarowicz still wrote a chapter on him about self-destruction and Hewson’s social circle. He recorded interviews with friends and acquaintances of Montanna after his death in preparation for this chapter, audio found in Fales Collection.

Hujar, Peter

Hujar was a photographer and a major influence to Wojnarowicz. They met early in 1981, and Hujar became Wojnarowicz's artistic mentor. They had an intense relationship; Wojnarowicz describes Hujar as "a teacher of sorts for me, a brother, a father." (David Wojnarowicz, In the Shadow of the American Dream: The Diaries of David Wojnarowicz, ed. Amy Scholder (New York: Grove Press, 1999), 199). They were also briefly lovers, and frequent subjects of one another's cameras. After Hujar's death, Wojnarowicz moved into his loft at 189 Second Avenue.

Hultberg, Jesse

Hultberg is a musician. He and Wojnarowicz were both busboys at Danceteria. With Wojnarowicz and Brian Butterick, the three formed 3 Teens Kill 4. In 1987, Hultberg starred in Wojnarowicz's film Beautiful People, footage of which can be found in the Wojnarowicz Papers at Fales. Hultberg has also posted a re-edit of the film on his YouTube channel:


Ingberman, Jeanette

Ingberman founded Exit Art with Papo Colo in 1982. Exit Art took the traveling retrospective Tongues of Flame, organized by the University Galleries at Illinois State University in November 1990.



Kern, Richard

Kern is an underground filmmaker and photographer associated with the Cinema of Transgression movement who first met Wojnarowicz at the Peppermint Lounge through Tommy Turner. Wojnarowicz and Kern collaborated on a number of films such as You Killed Me First (1985) and “Stray Dogs” from The Manhattan Love Suicides (1985). The two were good friends, traveled together, and were briefly roommates in 1985.


Leonard, Zoe

Leonard is an artist known for her photography and installation work. She and Wojnarowicz became friends when they were both working at Danceteria in 1980, and remained friendly throughout Wojnarowicz's life. Leonard was a vocal AIDS activist, and in 1988 she and Wojnarowicz formed an affinity group to ACT UP called the Candelabras, which introduced the display of foamcore headstones at protest "die-ins." After Wojnarowicz's death Leonard began work on an installation titled Strange Fruit (for David) (1992-1997), consisting of dried and repaired rinds of fruit consumed over five years.

Lippard, Lucy

Lippard is a writer, art critic, activist and curator. She interviewed Wojnarowicz for a feature cover story for Art in America in 1990. Later, when Wojnarowicz was working on a special issue of Aperture dedicated to his work with Aperture editor Melissa Harris, he requested that Lippard write the lead essay.

Lotringer, Sylvère

Lotringer is a literary critic and cultural theorist, known in part for introducing French theorists to U.S. readers through his work as founder and editor of the journal Semiotext(e), founded in 1974 with a group of Columbia University graduate students. Lotringer was friends with Marion Scemama, and in the summer of 1989, he lent Scemama, her boyfriend, and Wojnarowicz the use of his house in the Adirondacks for the months. Lotringer also conducted interviews with Wojnarowicz and with his friends and collaborators that were gathered in a 2006 collection, David Wojnarowicz: A Definitive History of Five or Six Years on the Lower East Side.

Lupetin, Michael

Lupetin was the producer for the film Silence=Death, directed by Rosa Von Praunheim, which Wojnarowicz participated in and contributed a 4 minute short film piece (see A Fire in My Belly case study).


Mansion, Gracie

Gracie Mansion (the adopted moniker of Joanne Mayhew-Young) is a gallerist who showed Wojnarowicz's work at Gracie Mansion Gallery between 1982 and 1987.

Marcus, Paul

Marcus is an artist and activist. He met Wojnarowicz at PPOW Gallery in 1988, where they were both represented at the time. Together with artist Susan Pyzow, they collaborated on the installation The Lazaretto, an installation about the current state of the AIDS crisis at PPOW in 1990, which was presented anonymously.

McCormick, Carlo

McCormick is a cultural critic and curator, and friend of Wojnarowicz. He wrote early reviews of Wojnarowicz's work for the East Village Eye, and curated several East Village shows in the 1980s, including site-specific painting shows at Ground Zero and at Neopolitan Gallery in Richmond, VA.


Patrick McDonnell was a graduate student in the Art Department at Illinois State University when Wojnarowicz travelled there to prepare for his retrospective Tongues of Flame. McDonnell worked at the University Art Galleries and acted as preparator for Wojnarowicz's exhibition. The two became close, with Wojnarowicz taking on a mentor role to the young artist.

Morais, Michael

Morais was a poet who met Wojnarowicz in 1975 through the poetry scene. He was living on Court Street in Brooklyn with poet Dennis DeForge, and editing the poetry journal riverrun, which published Wojnarowicz's work. Wojnarowicz and Morais were briefly lovers, and continued an epistolary relationship after Morais moved to Montreal around 1976.


Neill, Ben

Neill is a musician and composer. He collaborated with Wojnaroqicz on the multimedia performance ITSOFOMO


Olsoff, Wendy

With Penny Pilkington, Olsoff founded PPOW Gallery in 1983, which began representing Wojnarowicz in 1988. The gallery currently represents the Estate.


Pilkington, Penny

With Wendy Olsoff, Pilkington founded PPOW Gallery in 1983, which began representing Wojnarowicz in 1988. The gallery currently represents the Estate.



Rauffenbart, Tom

Rauffenbart was Wojnarowicz's partner and is the executor of his estate. They met in 1985.

Rice, Bill

Rice was an actor and painter. He acted opposite Wojnarowicz in Richard Kern's film Stray Dogs (1985). He also hosted an experimental production of Wojnarowicz's monologues Sounds in the Distance (1982), which also starred Nan Goldin, in the garden of his apartment building.

Romberger, James

Romberger is an artist and writer. With Marguerite Van Cook, Romberger ran Ground Zero Gallery, which showed Wojnarowicz's work. The three artists also collaborated on the graphic novel Seven Miles a Second.

Rowntree, Dirk

Rowntree is musician, photographer, and designer, who met Wojnarowicz in 1976 and stayed in touch with him through the end of his life. Rowntree's partner is Jean Foos.


Savard, Dean

Savard was an artist and gallerist. With Alan Barrows, he opened Civilian Warfare Studio in 1982, where Wojnarowicz showed until 1984.

Scemama, Marion

Scemama is a French photographer and filmmaker. She and Wojnarowicz met in 1984 when she was she on assignment to shoot him for the magazine ICI New York, and they became close friends. They collaborated on multiple works in film, video and paintings that combined her photography with Wojnarowicz's imagery. They were also frequently the subjects of one another's camera. Scemama went on several trips throughout the country with him, and spent significant time in the studio assisting him with production, particularly in 1989.

Schneider, Gary

Schneider is a photographer and master printer. With his partner John Erdman, Schneider runs Schneider-Erdman Inc, a photography lab in New York City. Schneider and Erdman were friends of Peter Hujar and Wojnarowicz; both artists printed exclusively at their lab. Schneider processed Wojnarowicz's film and made him contact sheets from 1984 on, and printed all of Wojnarowicz's photographs larger than 16x20 inches after Wojnarowicz began working more explicitly with photography in 1987.

Smith, Kiki

Kiki Smith is an artist. She met Wojnarowicz in 1981, and the two became close friends. He invited her to participate in the Ward Line Pier Project and encouraged her involvement in several group shows in East Village in the early 1980s. The two collaborated on works in print, painting, photography, and video.

Sur, Sur Rodney

Sur is a writer, artist and activist. He was co-director of Gracie Mansion Gallery, which showed Wojnarowicz's work in the 1980s.


Turner, Tommy

Turner is an artist and filmmaker associated with the Cinema of Transgression movement. Turner met Wojnarowicz when the two worked together at the Peppermint Lounge in 1981. Through their interest in photography, they quickly became friends and collaborated on films such as Where Evil Dwells (1985). Turner also accompanied Wojnarowicz to Mexico when he was capturing footage for his project A Fire In My Belly (film in progress). When Wojnarowicz worked on Installation #8, Turner helped him fill the installation with trash.



Van Cook, Marguerite

Van Cook is an artist and writer. With James Romberger, Van Cook ran Ground Zero Gallery, which showed Wojnarowicz's work. The three artists also collaborated on the graphic novel Seven Miles a Second.

von Praunheim, Rosa

Von Praunheim is a German filmmaker. He directed the 1990 AIDS documentary Silence=Death, which Wojnarowicz participated in and contributed a 4 minute short film piece (see A Fire in My Belly case study).


West, David

West is an artist who met Wojnarowicz when he moved to New York City in 1983 and began showing at Gracie Mansion Gallery, where Wojnarowicz also showed. West participated in the Ward Line Pier Project and other site-specific painting shows with Wojnarowicz. The two also collaborated on drawings. They stayed in touch by mail after West moved to San Francisco in 1988.

Wojnarowicz, Dolores

Dolores was Wojnarowicz's mother, whom he was in contact off and on throughout his life.

Wojnarowicz, Ed

Ed was Wojnarowicz's father, a retired seaman. He died in 1976, when Wojnarowicz was twenty-two. Wojnarowicz had only spent a few hours with him in the previous eleven years.

Wojnarowicz, Pat

Pat is Wojnarowicz's older sister. They remained close throughout his life.

Wojnarowicz, Steven

Steven is Wojnarowicz's older brother. They were in and out of contact throughout his life.




Zimmerman, Philip

Zimmerman is an artist. He and Wojnarowicz were friends, and Zimmerman assisted in the preparations for Installation #5. With Steve Doughton, Wojnarowicz and Zimmerman went on a cross-country road trip in 1985.