Dressing Up at the Warhol

Today's fascination with gender bending and ambivalent, provocative dress up is evident in a variety of media -- through films such as Tootsie, to Calvin Klein ads, and stars such as Ru Paul and Dennis Rodman. Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography, organized by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, is a contemporary look at androgyny, gender identity and sexuality. These images appear in a wide variety of photographs including portraits, self-portraits and photo montages. The birth gender of each person is manipulated by dress up or posture for the camera as well as through technical alterations of the image.

Photographers represented in the exhibition include Cecil Beaton, Brassai, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol. The title of the exhibition combines Gertrude Stein's famous motto, "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose," with the name of the artist Marcel Duchamp's feminine alter ego, Rrose Selavy, which is pronounced, in French, like the phrase Eros, C'est la Vie, meaning, "Eros, that's life." A catalogue, which includes essays and photographs, is available in the Museum Store. The Andy Warhol Museum has been selected as the only other venue for this exhibition. Accompanying the exhibition will be a seven-week film and video program which will examine the construction of gender identities in cinema.

The transvestite Candy Darling was one of Andy Warhol's most illustrious, enigmatic and talented Superstars. Through photographs and Darling's personal journals and diaries, this exhibition examines her life and career from her Long Island childhood to her central role in New York's most exalted artistic and social circles.

"It plays a major role in our exhibition philosophy, which often focuses on the careers of artists who were catalyzed by the influence of Andy Warhol," says Thomas Sokolowski, director of the Warhol Museum.

"Candy Darling was one of the most talented and glamorous figures in Warhol's circle during the late 1960s and early 1970s," says John Smith, Warhol Museum archivist and curator of the exhibition. "Her beauty, talent and personality made her the favorite not only of Warhol, but also of Tennessee Williams, Salvador Dali, Jane Fonda, Diana Vreeland and a host of upper East Side socialites."

Drawn from the collection of Jeremiah Newton, a long-time friend of Darling's, The Andy Warhol Museum Archives and private collections, the exhibition includes works by photographers such as Francesco Scavullo, Peter Beard, Cecil Beaton and Andy Warhol.

Candy Darling, Always a Lady was first shown in the Feature, Inc., gallery in New York to coincide with the forthcoming publication of My Face for the World to See, The Diaries of Candy Darling, published by Hardy Marks Publications, then in San Francisco's Braunstein/Quay gallery before opening at The Andy Warhol Museum.