From Emily Colucci’s review of the exhibition “NYC, c. 1985” for Société Perrier:
Stumbling unexpectedly into ClampArt’s reception for their current exhibition “NYC, c. 1985,” a survey of 1980s New York City through the lens of both famous and lesser-known photographers, I maneuver through a thick crowd of New York art lovers sharing stories of the 1980s and admiring the raw energy of the city. While exhibitions that look back to New York of the 1980s often descend into nostalgia, “NYC, c. 1985” avoids this trap by showing a variety of photographers and subjects. Captured by photographers such as Nan Goldin and Amy Arbus, the subjects of “NYC, c. 1985” encompass both celebrities like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Run-D.M.C. and Madonna and the New York landscape such as the suburban homes in West Brighton.
Coinciding with the release of Jeannette Montgomery Barron’s monograph “Scene,” “NYC, c. 1985” straddles the period between the burned-out, desolate 1970s and the start of the cleaning up of the seedier New York. While many of the photos celebrate the spikey-haired, self-styling of the punk and new wave era, others reveal the harsh realities of 1980s such as homelessness and the ever-increasing AIDS crisis. Like many exhibitions on this period, the specter of AIDS looms large, as seen in the photograph of playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer.