Larry Levan (snake)

Media - 2013.45.1 - SAAM-2013.45.1_1 - 82014
Copied Elia Alba, Larry Levan (snake), 2006, printed 2010, gelatin silver print, image: 19 1219 12 in. (49.549.5 cm) sheet: 20 1220 in. (52.050.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by William W. W. Parker, 2013.45.1, © 2006, Elia Alba

Artwork Details

Title
Larry Levan (snake)
Artist
Date
2006, printed 2010
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
image: 19 1219 12 in. (49.549.5 cm) sheet: 20 1220 in. (52.050.8 cm)
Copyright
© 2006, Elia Alba
Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by William W. W. Parker
Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
Classifications
Keywords
  • Recreation — dancing
  • Dress — costume — mask
  • Performing arts — other — DJ
  • Portrait male — Levan, Larry
Object Number
2013.45.1

Artwork Description

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

Description in Spanish

Las fotografías de Alba desafían el vínculo directo entre la apariencia y la identidad personal. Aquí varios enmascarados portan la cara de Larry Levan (1954 – 1992), el legendario DJ del Paradise Garage de Nueva York. Levan era una figura clave de la música disco, género musical cultivado originalmente entre las comunidades gay, negra y latina. Al combinar la m piel morena en un cuerpo blanco, Alba cuestiona las definiciones estrechas de raza, género y sexualidad.

Nuestra América: la presencia latina en el arte estadounidense, 2013

Exhibitions

Media - 2011.12 - SAAM-2011.12_1 - 77591
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
October 24, 2013March 2, 2014
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge.