The Other World and Worlds of David Wojnarowicz

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Master'sB, December 1996

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Homosexuality & Art thru eyes of a raging artist

It was a sudden vision of the world; a transient position of the body in relation to the Other World. So I came to understand that to give up one's environment was also to give up biography and all the encoded daily movements; the false reassurances of the railing outside the door. This was a beginning of a definition of the World for me. A place that might be described as interior world. The place where movement was comfortable; where boundaries were stretched or obliterated; no walls, borders, language or fear.

David Wojnarowicz, Close to the Knives

David Wojnarowicz was born in 1954 into a life that was troubled from the very onset on the fringes of American society. The first years of his life were marked by incredible abuse from his father with dog chains, two by fours, and molestation.

By age nine, Wojnarowicz was back with his neglectful mother; from ages nine to 16 or 17, he "fucked in every season and in any weather," (Tongues of Flame, p. 115). All along those years, Wojnarowicz made many forays into prostitution and random sex where his life was often at stake as early as age twelve. In his teenage years, education fell to the wayside and by age sixteen, he was a permanent resident of the streets. Wojnarowicz's daily life consisted of tricking, shoplifting, and avoiding death with a gang of transvestites along the Hudson river. However by age twenty, he began to assemble the pieces of his life and his creativity began to emerge. Five years later in 1979, Wojnarowicz seemingly began his artistic career with photographic series produced, action installations created, and a true documentation of the world in his eyes underway. Wojnarowicz grew up as...