Pride Marches On: Celebrating 50 Years, Art of Our Century, New York, NY

by Dana Gordon


West St. near Christopher St., 1983 Pride March Photo © Allan Tannenbaum

Street photography is a form of documentary photography that reflects upon the extraordinariness of both the daily life and the unusual events in, mainly, big cities. In both genres, the spirit of the photographed and of the photographer are joined in the content of the image produced by their encounter. This phenomenon is more than evident in the photographs – dating from 1969 through 2019 – in this show celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the first Gay Pride march.

The pictures also illuminate, and are illuminated by, the perceived fact that photography is so adept at bringing the past into the present. As William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” The delight, pride, irreverence, and redeemed rightness of the street occupants and performers rejoicing from within these images are proof of this.

But their feelings alone do not come across at maximum voltage, as they do here, without the skill and empathy of the esteemed photographers in this show, Barbara Alper, Fred W. McDarrah, Meryl Meisler, Suzanne Poli, Mary McKenna Ridge, Darleen Rubin, and Allan Tannenbaum. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know not only their names, but their images, which will bring a smile to your face.

["Pride Marches On: Celebrating 50 Years" runs at Art of Our Century through July 23.]

[About the author: Dana Gordon is an artist in New York City.]