Just out from Bloomsbury, Cynthia Carr's bio of essential artist / writer David Wojnarowicz takes its name from his work censored at the Hide/Seek exhibit, Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz [Kindle]. PW chose it as a Pick of the Week, writing "In this lucidly composed, skillfully contextualized first complete biography of David Wojnarowicz, former Village Voice reporter Carr reveals how the controversial artist’s life experience shaped his art and politics. Tracing his early life as a withdrawn, unstable student, sometime hustler, and store clerk in the troubled New York of the late 1960s and early ’70s, Carr reveals the artist’s struggle to express his emerging gay identity and the violent intensity of his family life."
The NYT says, "Ms. Carr’s biography is both sympathetic and compendious; it’s also a many-angled account of the downtown art world of the 1980s... The author braids small, unlikely narratives among the large ones. There’s an account of the art store clerk who gave away free supplies to poor artists he admired, and one of Redden’s, the sole funeral home in Manhattan that would accept AIDS patients in the early days of the crisis, winning the loyalty of many gay men. Ms. Carr, by lining Wojnarowicz in her sights, has seized upon a vivid and peculiarly American story."
The knowing cover photo is by friend and mentor Peter Hujar, whom David called "the parent I never had," except they did sleep together. See Peter's nsfw portrait of David's nude handwork.