Volume 81, Number 4 | June 23 - 29, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Photos by Clayton Patterson
Artists blazed their own trails on the Lower East Side
The East Village and Lower East Side have always been known for iconoclastic gay artists, including the likes of, from left, Jack Smith, Allen Ginsberg and Taylor Mead. The late Smith, shown here portraying Death in the 1991 movie “Shadows in the City,” was an American underground film legend. Police would constantly shut down his movie “Flaming Creatures,” once resulting in the arrest of Jonas Mekas, head of the Anthology Film Archives, but Smith ultimately prevailed in New York State Supreme Court. Ginsberg, of course, the famous Beat poet and “Howl” author, lived in the East Village for many years. His Beat anthem was attacked as obscene, but the courts ruled it was not. Mead was a superstar at Andy Warhol’s Factory and has been involved in film since the 1960s. A longtime Ludlow St. resident, he still gives readings at the Bowery Poetry Club. Above, he played the role of a rabbit in a play, “The General,” that showed on E. Fourth St.