Larry Levan (snake)

  • Elia Alba, Larry Levan (snake), 2006, printed 2010, gelatin silver print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by William W. W. Parker, 2013.45.1, © 2006, Elia Alba

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 (19541992), 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

Larry Levan (snake)
2006, printed 2010
Not on view
image: 19 1219 12 in. (49.549.5 cm) sheet: 20 1220 in. (52.050.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase made possible by William W. W. Parker

Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
  • Dress – costume – mask
  • Performing arts – other – DJ
  • Portrait male – Levan, Larry
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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