The first full biography of legendary East Village artist and gay activist David Wojnarowicz, whose work continues to provoke twenty years after his death
'Carr's biography is both sympathetic and compendious; it's also a many-angled account of the downtown art world of the 1980s . . . a vivid and peculiarly American story' New York Times
'A beautifully written, sympathetic, unsentimental portrait of one of the most lastingly influential late 20th century New York artists' LA Times
David Wojnarowicz was an abused child, a teen runaway who barely finished high school, but he emerged as one of the most important voices of his generation.
He found his tribe in New York's East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and '80s for drugs, blight, and a burgeoning art scene. His creativity spilled out in paintings, photographs, films, texts, installations, and in his life and its recounting-creating a sort of mythos around himself. His circle of East Village artists moved into the national spotlight just as the AIDS plague began its devastating advance, and as right-wing culture warriors reared their heads.
As Wojnarowicz's reputation as an artist grew, so did his reputation as an agitator-because he dealt so openly with his homosexuality, so angrily with his circumstances as a Person With AIDS, and so fiercely with his would-be censors.
Fire in the Belly is the untold story of a polarizing figure at a pivotal moment in American culture-and one of the most highly acclaimed biographies of the year.