Last week the Peter Hujar Archive wrapped up its final interviews for an oral history project filmed and directed by the amazing True Life Media. Our last interview was with Bruce de Sainte Croix, a friend of Hujar's who was a dancer in New York during the 1970s.
In 1976 Hujar photographed de Ste. Croix with the intention of producing images for an upcoming exhibition of erotic art at the Marcuse Pfiefer Gallery. During the interview last week, de Ste. Croix brilliantly elaborated on the resulting work from this photoshoot, describing the spiritual atmosphere created in Hujar's prints and the simultaneous vulnerability and courage captured in Standing Male Nude: Bruce de Sainte Croix. Looking through the contact sheets from the photoshoot, de Ste. Croix recounted the casual, playful beginning of the shoot through to the dramatic act of masturbation, which Hujar boldly and emotionally captured.
De Ste. Croix candidly discussed the significance of these photographs to him personally as well as their significance in the contexts of erotic art throughout history and of New York in the 1970s. Among the issues touched upon in the interview are the expression of the body's own autonomous sexual forces, sexuality as a demonstration of freedom in the 1970s, and the nature of de Ste. Croix and Hujar's relationship.
Soon all of the footage from the oral history interviews, including de Ste. Croix's, will be available online. In the meantime, here are the iconic images printed by Hujar from the de Ste. Croix's sitting:
Standing Male Nude: Bruce de Sainte Croix, 1976
Seated Nude, Bruce de Sainte Croix, 1976
Bruce de Sainte Croix Masturbating, 1976