OLD-AGE x CRUSHfanzine: Alvin Baltrop
Powerful, lyrical, and controversial, Alvin Baltrop’s photographs are a groundbreaking exploration of clandestine gay culture in New York in the 1970s and 80s. His work is reflective of the grassroots passion and raw energy of New York City’s underground gay culture. Baltrop focused his lens on the derelict warehouses beneath Manhattan’s West Side piers; which was a lawless, forgotten part of the city that played host to gay cruising, art making, drug smuggling, prostitution, and suicides. Baltrop documented this scene, unflinchingly and obsessively capturing everything from fleeting naked figures in mangled architectural environments to scenes of explicit sex and police raids on the piers. While the outside world saw New York as the glamorous playground of Studio 54, Warhol’s gang and the disco era; Baltrop photographed the city’s gritty flipside. His work is an important part of both gay culture and the history of New York itself, and his photographs are a powerful tribute to a long-forgotten world at the city’s dilapidated margins.
* All proceeds from the sale of this t-shirt go to TGI Justice Project – working to challenge and end the human rights abuses committed against Black, Black/Brown trans people inside of California prisons, jails, detention centers and beyond.