Sunday, May 5, 2024

Alvin Baltrop and the Piers

Alvin Baltrop came out as gay at age 14 and joined the U.S Navy at 20.  While in the Navy, he started taking photographs of shipmates and friends.  Once out of the service, he did stints as a taxi driver, jewelry designer, and street vendor before focusing on photography.  His taxicab license:

Mr. Baltrop was marginalized and even victimized by the gay dominated New York art scene, with one art gallery owner infamously selling his work under a fake name and pocketing the proceeds.  Only after his untimely death from cancer at age 55 was he given the recognition he deserved.  His best known work was done at the notorious Piers cruising scene in the late 70s and early 80s, and that will be our focus today.  First, however, here is a self portrait of this fine artist.



  1. Fascinating man, story and life. Thanks for sharing these photos!