I was trying to figure out who the man in a black and white portrait hanging on One Hour Cleaners’ wall at Photo LA was. And then it suddenly hit me that it was Divine – the transvestite star of almost every single film John Waters made in his early career. Except this portrait of Divine was strikingly different than any other, since it made the actor, who once ate dog shit at the end of a film, look rather noble. I found out from Peter Bartlett, who curated the booth’s exhibit, that the picture was never really intended by the photographer Peter Hujar (who sadly died of AIDS in the late 1980s) to be seen by the public. However, I’m glad it was because it’s such a revealing portrait of the actor’s range.
“Divine” by Peter Hujar
DETAIL: “Divine” by Peter Hujar [please note that in person the coloration is far different]
Photo by Annette Kelm
PHOTO LA: http://www.photola.com/
*NOTE: The topmost photo is “Old Fruit” by Roe Ethridge