On September 13th 1997 the WAH Center will present a retrospective exhibit of the work of Charles Gatewood, one of the great photographers of our time. Entitled CHARLES GATEWOOD, the Body and Beyond, this 30-year retrospective will feature over fifty master photographic prints, plus several large photographic screen prints by the artist.
Gatewood has been frequently compared to legendary photographers Weegee and Diane Arbus. As an anthropologist and visual artist, Gatewood chronicles many non-traditional aspects of American culture, exploring in depth the subcultures of body modification and the activities of the sexual underground.
The ordinary viewer may see in Gatewood's work immorality and the bizzare in the lifestyles he portrays. Gatewood's photographs, however, do not pass judgement. They are done with the measured eye of the artist and the cool but sympathetic judgement of the anthropologist. In documenting the ritual mortification of the flesh and the "extreme externalization of forbidden sexual fantasies" he has gone where no photographer has gone before. Gatewood's photographs form a major archive of many of the more radical forms of contemporary American culture. Indeed, as nudity, exhibitionism, full body tattooing and piercing, and various forms of fetished fashion and sadomasochistic excess have entered mainstream American culture, Gatewood's amazing photographs appear not only historically significant, but also uncannily prophetic.
photography - � 1997 Charles Gatewood