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November 15, 2018

Punks, Poets and Provocateurs: Marcia Resnick’s Portraits of the Bad Boys of 1970s New York Counterculture

Marcia Resnick spent much of the 1970s and 80s photographing the marginalized, talented and creative souls — as well as some pretty famous rockers and poets — who were drawn like a magnet to dirty, old, low-rent and near-bankrupt New York City. They came there, Marcia observed, to re-invent themselves.

“Musicians, writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers and dancers would congregate at clubs like the Mudd, Max’s and CBGB where they would enjoy the music and begin to collaborate on art projects,” said Resnick. Out of this scene came a mixture of punk rockers, transvestites, performers, and older counterculture figures who Resnick found intriguing.

In 2015, she published Punks, Poets & Provocateurs: New York City Bad Boys, 1977-1982, which focuses on what many consider to be the highlight years of New York’s counterculture.

“The people from the extraordinary New York milieu amongst whom I was living and working had no way of knowing that the years between 1977 and 1982 were enchanted, endangered, and unrepeatable,” explained Marcia Resnick. It was a time and place populated by icons, iconoclasts, and antiheroes whom Resnick documented with a unique and evocative eye.

Here, her photographs of the “enfants terribles” reflect this unique time in the worlds of jazz, rock and roll, literature, art, and film—an era that remains highly influential.

Mick Jagger, William Burroughs and Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

David Byrne

John Waters

Roy Cohn and Steve Rubell

Mick Jagger

Quentin Crisp

William Burroughs

Charles Ludlam


Dr. John

John Belushi

John Lydon

Klaus Nomi

William Burroughs (seated), Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso

Richard Hell

Johnny Thunders

John Belushi

(Photos by Marcia Resnick, via La Noir Image)



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