Daniel Cooney Fine Art is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of photographs by renowned photographer Stephen Barker. With The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994 we will be showing 27 never before seen black and white photographic portraits of AIDS activists —in the studio and at home—taken by Barker during his time working within the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP).
Also debuting is the hand made artist’s book "Funeral March" wherein Mark Fisher’s body is carried in an open coffin from Judson Memorial Church, up Sixth Avenue, to the steps of the Republican National Committee on the eve of the presidential election, 1992.
Barker became involved with ACT UP in the late 80's, working primarily with the needle exchange program. The photographs were never intended as an encyclopedic project, but rather the portraits evolved organically out of Barker’s working relationships, friendships, and intimacies.
The exhibition is especially timely during this 30th anniversary year of ACT UP when once again all under-served communities, including those living with HIV/AIDS, are threatened by our own government. It is a call to arms for activism and a reminder of the distance we have travelled and battles we have won.
Stephen Barker has been exhibiting his work internationally for over 25 years. The monograph “Nightswimming” was published by Twin Palms in 1999 and his work is included in the permanent collections of The New York Public Library, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, among others.