New York gallery CLAMP has announced the death of American photographer Amos Badertscher at the age of 86.
Born in 1936 in Baltimore, where he lived throughout his life, Badertscher created thousands of portraits during his lifetime – of pedestrians and nightclub goers he encountered in the city, including AIDS patients, strippers, drug addicts, drag queens and hustlers. Badertscher’s photographs, developed and printed at his own home, are often black and white and accompanied by texts that account for his subjects’ intricate personal histories, collected and handwritten on the gelatin silver prints by the artist. A retrospective of the artist Lost Boys: Amos Badertscher’s Baltimore will open at the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus this September.
‘With the death of Amos Badertscher, America has lost one of its greatest photographers,’ Queer-art historian Jonathan David Katz said. ‘Walking into Amos’s Baltimore home was as close as I can imagine to seeing King Tut’s tomb for the first time. There were thousands of amazing photographs, each unforgettable and unprecedented. The first thing you saw was their formal sophistication and otherworldly beauty but then the emotional arc hit you like a ton of bricks. This was a history I never knew but can now never shake.’