Joe Dallesandro - Superstar

01 Apr - 29 May 2011

Exhibition view
Photo © Henning Rogge
1 April – 22 May, 2011
Extended until May 29

The “hustle” in Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side (1972) alludes to US actor Joe Dallesandro, a male icon and superstar of Andy Warhol’s “Factory”. By chance, Little Joe, as he was called in various film roles, walked onto the set during the filming in 1967 of The love of Ondine, produced by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrisey. After the very first three roles he played in Warhol’s art films, Dallesandro was already the greatest sex symbol of the late 1960s among both men and women alike – in both the Hippie and the gay movement. He embodied the underground that cast a merciless gaze at the wild side of New York and art, and radically broke with all the rules.

His work as an actor climaxed in the early films that Morrisey directed, in particular the trilogy Flesh (1968), Trash (1970) and Heat (1972), in which Dallesandro essentially played himself. Joe Dallesandro, whose real name was Joseph Angelo D’Allesandro, was born in 1948 the son of an Italo-American sailor, grew up in precarious circumstances, and while still in his teens started to make his living on the street, the ideal personification of the under-age hustler, drifter and male prostitute with the immaculate body that he then played in Flesh.

The films Warhol produced made a star of Dallesandro in the subculture of the day and brought him to fame in the international art world, too. He sat for portraits by photographers such as Michael Childers, Duane Michals, Jack Mitchell, Richard Avedon, Victor Skrebneski, Bruce Of Los Angeles, Ken Duncan and Francesco Scavullo. The slick jeans on the cover of the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album are his.
Following Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (1973) and Andy Warhol’s Dracula (1974) the collaboration with Warhol and Morrisey came to an end, and Joe Dallesandro headed for Europe, where he played, among other things, alongside Jane Birkin in Serge Gainsbourg’s classic “Je t’aime moi non plus” (1975). Dallesandro returned to the States in early 1980.

The exhibition will showcase not only original images by world-famous photographers but also film posters and stills from countless movies. There will be a series of film screenings to coincide with the exhibition.

Tags: Richard Avedon, Duane Michals, Andy Warhol