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

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

Larry Levan (snake)
2006, printed 2010
Not on view
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)
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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