David Wojnarowicz was born in Red Bank, New Jersey in 1954. He experienced an extremely difficult childhood with a highly abusive family life. Maturing with a sense of his homosexuality, Wojnarowicz dropped out of high school and was living on the streets by the age of sixteen. He soon turned to hustling in Times Square in New York City. After hitchhiking many times across the U.S. and living for a time in San Francisco and Paris, he finally settled in New York’s East Village in 1978, where he began exhibiting artwork.
Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related illness in New York City in 1992 at the age of 37.