The Nuclear Family

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The Nuclear Family
Ground Zero, New York, and East Village Meets East Broad Street, Neopolitan Gallery, Richmond, VA


Carlo McCormick, who had written a story for the East Village Eye about the Ward Line Pier Project, was invited to curate an exhibition at the Neopolitan Gallery in Richmond, VA. He had previously curated a show titled The Nuclear Family at Ground Zero, where Wojnarowicz, Keiko Bonk, Luis Frangella, Christof Kolhofer, David West, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook painted directly onto the walls while on acid. At Neopolitan, he recreated the acid show with much of the same group, also including Marilyn Minter. As McCormick recalls, “We all showed up and destroyed this beautiful space, painting all over, even on the beautiful wood floors. It probably took them three weeks to get rid of what we did there. It was a total ‘fuck you’ to them.” [1] Van Cook recalls that Frangella and Wojnarowicz paired off and painted together, and that Wojnarowicz learned from the talented painter’s easy gesture and facility with a brush attached to a long pole. [2] In these collaborations, all of the artists contributed equally to the resulting installation, painting over each other’s work and adding embellishments, without a single master planner.


Keiko Bonk
Bonk is a fashion designer, artist, musician, and politician who resides in Hawaii.

Luis Frangella
Frangella (1944-1990) was an Argentinian painter and sculptor, and good friend of Wojnarowicz.

Christof Kolhofer
Kolhofer is a German painter, photographer and filmmaker.

Carlo McCormick
McCormick is a cultural critic and curator, and friend of Wojnarowicz.

Marilyn Minter
Minter is a painter, photography, and filmmaker.

James Romberger
Romberger is an artist and writer. With Marguerite Van Cook, Romberger ran Ground Zero Gallery, which showed Wojnarowicz's work.

David West
West is an artist who also showed at Gracie Mansion Gallery.

Marguerite Van Cook
Van Cook is an artist and writer. With James Romberger, Van Cook ran Ground Zero Gallery, which showed Wojnarowicz's work.

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  1. David Wojnarowicz: A definitive history of five or six years on the Lower East Side, Eds. Sylvère Lotringer and Giancarlo Ambrosino (New York: Semiotexte, 2006): 14.
  2. Lotringer/Ambrosino, 98.