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Larry Levan (snake)

2006, printed 2010 Elia Alba Born: New York, New York 1962 gelatin silver print image: 19 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. (49.5 x 49.5 cm) sheet: 20 1/2 x 20 in. (52.0 x 50.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase made possible by William W. W. Parker © 2006, Elia Alba 2013.45.1 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Alba’s photographs challenge the straightforward link between how a person looks and who they are. Here several partygoers wear masks depicting the face of Larry Levan (1954-1992), the legendary DJ of the Paradise Garage in New York City. Levan was a key figure of disco music originally nurtured in gay, black, and Latino communities. By combining the mask of a man and the body of a female, or placing a brown-skinned mask on a white body, Alba contests narrow definitions of race, gender, and sexuality.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013


Dress - costume - mask

Performing arts - other - DJ

Portrait male - Levan, Larry

Recreation - dancing

photography - photoprint


gelatin silver