Lorenza Böttner (1959 – 1994) was an artist born in 1959 into a family of German origin in Punta Arenas, Chile. At the age of eight, he was electrocuted when climbing up a pylon, resulting in both arms having to be amputated below the shoulder. He returned to Germany with his mother in 1973 to undertake a series of plastic surgery operations and moved to Lichtenau. Böttner, refused prosthetic arms and she chose to transform her situation, developing interest for classical ballet, jazz, and tap dancing, and learning to paint with her feet and mouth. Lorenz decided to use the name Lorenza, affirming an openly transgender feminine position.
Mark Morrisroe (1959 – 1989) was an American photographer. He was good friend with Nan Goldin and David Armstrong and his photography was mostly been exhibited and discussed in connection with them. Morrisroe candidly shot images of lovers, friends, hustlers and New York scenes. He had a big influence in the development of the 1970s punk scene in Boston and the art world boom of the mid-to-late-80s in New York. He had a tragic life story that ended at the early age of 30 due to AIDS.
Bhupen Khakhar (1934 – 2003) was a leading artist in Indian contemporary art. An openly gay artist, the problem of gender definitions and gender identity were major themes of his work. The themes has appeared in his paintings a number of times, in well-known works like “Yayati” (1987) and “Two Men in Benares” (1985). Homosexuality was something that at the time was rarely addressed in India.
Claude Cahun (1894 – 1954) was a French queer photographer, sculptor and writer whose work explored gender identity and the subconscious mind. In the early 1920s, she would change her name to the gender neutral Claude Cahun. In taking the gender-neutral forename Claude and by shaving her head, as she did often in the late 1910s, Cahun actively and outwardly rejected social constructions of gender and sexual identity. She and her stepsister, Marcel Moore, were lovers and anti-fascist artist.
David Wojnarowicz (1954 – 1992) was a Polish-American painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, songwriter/recording artist and AIDS activist prominent in the East Village art scene. His work is about America, a place he had described in his 1991 essay collection Close to the Knives as an “illusion”, a “killing machine”, a “tribal nation of zombies … slowly dying beyond our grasp”. The self-taught artist embraced a cobbled-together aesthetic and frequently integrated found materials – driftwood, animal skulls, maps – into his work.