Here are pictures I took of the painting in my studio the other day.
As early as the age of 15 when he ran away from home to escape a violent alcoholic father, Wojnarowicz hustled for money, usually out of desperation. Sometimes tricks beat, drugged, and raped him. Some others looked after him. Wojnarowicz's relationship with his clients could be complex; most thought of him as just another punk for rent, but with some he formed enduring friendships. He was in love with one of them. He continued to hustle into his 30s.
Even at the height of his fame, he never made much money as an artist or in anything else. The most he made in a single year was around $36K, not much money even by the standards of 30 years ago in New York. He paid suppliers, the occasional landlord, doctors, and lawyers usually in barter. He had no health insurance. He squatted in most of the places he lived in, including photographer Peter Hujar's old apartment on 2nd Ave. and E 12th Street where Wojnarowicz spent his last years.
I also intended this painting to be an homage to the photographer Phillip Lorca diCorcia, and to Edouard Manet.