“You got to keep making art. That’s my personal salvation,” says the photographer Jeannete Montgomery Barron as we make our way through the Patrick Parrish Gallery in downtown New York City. She’s in town for her show, Jeannette Montgomery Barron: Artist Portraits from the 80s, which showcases the images that made the photographer a name in New York’s downtown art scene during the times of the Factory. In a sense, the collection of up-close-and-personal portraits of artists, models, and culture-makers evoke that same air of persistence and defiance. Barron captured a plethora of art revolutionaries—Keith Harring, Jenny Holzer, Francesco Clemente, Bianca Jagger, and Andy Warhol, among others—during trying times that were both political and personal. As she tells me during our walkthrough, the inspiration to show these portraits stems from younger generations’ “romanticized” view of the ’80s. But it’s also an indirect response to modern life—its culture, politics, and the first three months of 2020.

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