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Finding aid to the David Greene Shameless Photographs, 1974

Finding aid prepared by Michael C. Oliveira, © 2013

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Photographer
Greene, David, 1950-
Title
David Greene Shameless photographs
Collection no.
Coll2013.011
Date
1974
Extent
10.0 b&w photographs.
Language
English
Abstract
Between February and August 1974, David Greene photographed men and women who challenged gender stereotypes. The Darkroom Gallery in Berkeley, California exhibited the images in the fall of that year. The collection includes ten of the fifty photographs that were exhibited in his show titled Shameless. The ten photographs capture twelve shameless gay men embracing their genderqueer identity.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] David Greene Shameless photographs, Coll2013-011, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biography

David Greene attended the University of Michigan, where he wrote and directed a feature length film, Pamela and Ian (1971), concerning a bi-sexual love triangle. After graduating, he relocated to San Francisco, California and founded the Gay Artist and Writers Kollective (GAWK). He went on to photograph men and women who challenged gender stereotypes. Fifty of his photographs were exhibited in a show titled  Shameless. The show opened in Berkeley, California in 1974 with more than 200 people attending, most in drag. The exhibition then traveled to San Francisco in 1975 as  Andy's Donuts, Center of the Universe. The exhibition subsequently traveled as  Shameless to New York (1976), Chicago (1978), and Zurich (1979). Greene also photographed a series of images for the book  Men Loving Men published by Gay Sunshine Press (1977).

As of 2012, Greene has published three books, Unmentionables: A Novel (2010),  Photographs (2012), and  Detonate (2012) He lives in Chicago with his spouse, painter James Stephens.

"Bio," Books by David Greene accessed August 29, 2013, http://www.davidjgreene.com/.

Gay Sunshine Press: A Journal of Gay Liberation, Spring 1974, number 2, page 4. (photograph)

Fag Rag and Gay Sunshine Press: A Journal of Gay Liberation, Summer 1974, page 27-30.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists of nine 8x10 and one 11x14 black & white photographic prints from David Greene's show titled Shameless. The first exhibit of  Shameless consisted of fifty photographic prints at The Darkroom Gallery in Berkeley, California.

Greene photographed mostly friends in their own homes between February and August 1974. The subjects are "shameless" in living as gay men embracing their genderqueer identity. The collection also includes an article on the exhibit from Vector magazine, October 1974.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

The date and method of acquisition for the nine 8x10 photographic prints remains unknown.

The 11x14 photographic print of Tea Time, Three Revolutionaries, San Francisco was a gift of Ian Stulberg.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael C. Oliveira, 2013.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials

Box 85, folder 2, Men Loving Men, photographs by David Greene 1977, Gay Sunshine records, Coll2011-011, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Controlled Access Headings

Subject(s)

  • Gay men--Portraits
  • Photographers

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Shameless photographs 1974 

Arrangement

The photographic prints are arranged alphabetically by subjects name or title of the work.

General note

Text describing the subjects and settings was transcribed from David Greene's book, Shameless: Photographs (1977).

Box-binder

 Blaze and Eric's last tango 1974 

1

 Christopher at home with ghost in the chair (in the mirror) 1974 

Greene's description

"Christopher Lonc was a consummate genderfuck performer. We met in Berkeley in 1974 at a gay liberation front meeting. Many queens wore drag in the bars at night, but Christopher was among the few doing it on the street in daylight. He thought of what he did as street theater. Christopher wanted to raise consciousness, to make people aware of how arbitrary clothes were, and to show how limited the range of what most people allowed themselves to wear was. Some people criticized Christopher for aping femininity, but he said that what he was doing was expanding the possibilities for men. He believed that if every man would spend just one day in drag, it would cure most of the world's ills. Like most genderfuck artists, Christopher's passion for mixed gender outfits arose not out of any sexual fetish, but from an exuberant creativity and playfulness. His street theater took tremendous courage."

"We collaborated on many portraits. He wanted Matisse-like pictures, full of busy detail and textures in haphazard but aesthetically interesting arrangements. He constructed the iconography of his living space for each of these portraits. Christopher had a rule: never wear the same outfit twice. He wanted to invent himself anew every day."

1

 Harmodius (Tony Rogers) in exile in his bedroom with pipe and jewelry 1974 

1

 Tania at home in secretary drag 1974 

Greene's description

"Tanye [Tania] was one of my favorite subjects. He had just moved to San Francisco when we met, having lived and worked for several years as a woman librarian in South America. Eventually Tanye decided he was more interested in genderfuck than in transgender."

1

 Steve Davis at his birthday party with gift 1974 

Greene's description

"I took this photograph at Steven Davis's twenty-first birthday party in Nice's Berkeley apartment. The party was one of the first social events for a circle of young gay men who became friends in the mid-1970s. Steven had just arrived in California from Ohio and received many gifts--some serious, some camp. He especially loved the baby doll. He also received a rhinestone necklace, a rhinestone bracelet (worn as an arm band), and a bejeweled vest. This photograph became the poster image for the first exhibit of Shameless in 1974 at the Darkroom Workshop Gallery."

1

 Self-Portrait with grandfather and high school graduation picture, at my grandfather's house 1974 

1

 Aarmour Starr in front of his mantelpiece 1974 

1

 Aarmour Starr in his living room with "Song of the Islands" poster 1974 

1
Box

 Tea Time, Three Revolutionaries, San Francisco 1974 

Greene's description

"Genderfuck trios, Tea Time was a difficult photograph to take because Teddie, Jessie, and Bobo were camping it up so much that none of us could stop laughing. The process of loading the 4x5 film into the negative carriers, which I did with my hands inserted in a black changing bag while sitting on the floor with the bag in my lap, was the subject of much amusement. Eventually I managed to get the lighting set up in the kitchen. Jesse added the S&H green stamp prop, and that inspired the moment. They all sat down and struck a pose. I took just one exposure, and that was it."

2
Box-binder

 Tom Turner, pianist and composer, as Michaelangelo's "David" with earring 1974 

Greene's description

"Tom Turner is a pianist and composer. This portrait shows how genderfuck could be achieved with something as simple as an earring. The sight of a man wearing an earring was shocking in 1974.The photograph's reference to Michelangelo's David was based on our memory of how Michelangelo had posed David's right arm. This photograph was included in the  New Art Examiner review of the 1978  Shameless exhibit in Chicago."

1

 Vector magazine article October 1974 

1

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