PETER HUJAR (1934–1987)
Ethyl Eichelberger as Lucrezia Borgia, 1982
gelatin silver print
credited in marker (verso)
image: 714 x 714 in. (18.4 x 18.4 cm.)
sheet: 10 x 778 in. (25.4 x 20 cm.)
This print is one of only two known press prints of this image.
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Lot Essay

The Hujar photograph on offer here was originally owned by noted drama critic Michael Feingold (1945-2022), who wrote for The Village Voice from 1971 until 2013. He began writing about plays and musicals in the early 1970s and continued to up until the last years of his life. Aside from his career as a critic, he also translated several European works for the American stage, mainly those by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.

This portrait of Ethyl Eichelberger (1945-1990) in costume is one of only two known prints of the image, the second of which was also owned by Feingold. Shot by Hujar on various occasions, in various poses and costumes, Eichelberger was a renowned American drag performer and playwright, active in the experimental theater scene of New York’s East Village in the 1980s. Eichelberger was known as a versatile and many times comedic actor. Among his notable works were solo performances recounting and exploring the lives of grande dames such as Lucrezia Borgia, Nefertiti and others, oftentimes in plays written and produced himself. He even performed in one of Feingold's translations of Brecht's The Threepenny Opera on Broadway.
Eichelberger tragically took his own life in 1990 after two years of suffering from medications and debilitating effects of AIDS.

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