By Briana Olson
It’s late June 1969, and the young people clustered on Christopher Street look giddy, some performing, others a bit shy before the camera. Neither they nor Fred McDarrah, the Village Voice photographer who shot Celebration After Riots Outside Stonewall Inn (1969), could have known that the riots—the spontaneous result of a few Stonewall patrons deciding to disrupt “business as usual” during a routine shakedown of the Greenwich Village bar—would come to be seen as having sparked a revolution in the gay rights movement, but that spark seems to light their bodies and faces.
McDarrah’s photograph is one of more than 150 photographs, prints, paintings, video clips, and other works that will be on display at the Leslie-Lohman Museum and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery in Art After Stonewall, 1969-1989. Organized in seven thematic sections, the exhibition moves in roughly chronological order from “Coming Out” to “We’re Here,” with “Sexual Outlaws” and “AIDS and Activism” two of the five stops along the way.