Anthony Friedkin’s photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the International Center of Photography, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York. He received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1977. He has taught photography at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the California Institute of the Arts and has lectured at the J. Paul Getty Museum and other educational institutions. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Newsweek, French Zoom, the Los Angeles Times, Malibu magazine, and numerous books, including Los Angeles: Portrait of a City, Taschen’s comprehensive 2009 volume on the city, and the Huntington Library’s This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in Los Angeles Photographs (2008). His monograph, Timekeeper, was self-published in 2003.
Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay
In making his photographic series The Gay Essay (1969–1973), Anthony Friedkin approached his subjects with an open and inquiring mind to achieve a portrait of a community and its habitués that is fearless and devoid of judgment. The Gay Essay carefully charts several aspects of the gay world at the time: street life, protest, gay leaders, lesbian activists, transsexuals and drag queens, hustlers and vice cops, and more. Whether made in city streets, motels, bars, or dance halls, Friedkin’s photographs demonstrate an understanding and respect for the private lives of the people he has portrayed. From flamboyant street parades to late-night rendezvous, the photographs forthrightly show the beginnings of the Gay Liberation movement in California and offer insights into the lives of performers, activists, hustlers, and hopeful youths in quiet defiance of prevailing social norms. Four decades after its making, The Gay Essay functions as both a valuable time capsule and a record fit for the ages.