Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

David Armstrong

Photographer David Armstrong (at right, portrait by Deidre Schoo) was born in 1954 in Massachusetts and studied painting at the Boston Museum School and Cooper Union (NYC). He soon switched to photography and earned a B.F.A. from Tufts University in 1988.

Armstrong first received critical attention for his intimate sharp focus portraits of men, who were either lovers or friends. In the 1990s he began to photograph cityscapes and landscapes in soft focus,  to contrast his portraits. Street lights, electric signs and automobiles were reduced to a sensual, mottled blur (collected as All Day Every Day). A series of black/white portraits appeared as The Silver Cord. His most recent art book publication is 615 Jefferson Avenue (2011).

Armstrong’s photographs have been included in numerous group exhibitions here and abroad, in such prestigious venues as the Hamburger Kunsthalle (Germany). A large body of David’s work has appeared in print media: French Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Arena Homme+, GQ, Self Service, Another Man and Japanese Vogue, among others.  As well, he has contributed to advertising campaigns for a variety of clients, such as Ermenegildo Zegna, René Lezard, Kenneth Cole, Burburry, Puma, and Barbara Bui.

In 1996, Elisabeth Sussman, curator of photographs at the Whitney Museum (NYC), enlisted Armstrong’s help in composing Nan Goldin’s first retrospective. She gained such respect for Armstrong’s eye that she acquired a few of David’s pieces for the Whitney permanent collection. He was subsequently featured in the Whitney 1994 biennial.

David is based in Brooklyn, New York, where his primary subjects remain young boys and men. “It has to do with issues of my own,” he says. “This thing about male youth, this idea that something is fading. I get older and still take pictures of boys that are the age I was when I was first shooting them.”


New York Times interview:


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