Burroughs 23, A William S. Burroughs Photo Book by Charles Gatewood

Burroughs 23 is a very limited edition (just 23 copies available) handmade artist’s book by photographer Charles Gatewood. It contains photos of American author William S. Burroughs and friends taken by Gatewood in the early 1970s for Rolling Stone and Crawdaddy! rock magazines. A true collector’s item for Burroughs fans, each book is hand-sewn and bound and contains 30 digital prints made with archival inks.

San Francisco’s Robert Tat Gallery is hosting a retrospective exhibition of Gatewood’s photos and collages, to coincide with the book’s release, titled Charles Gatewood’s Greatest Hits. It opens September 8, 2011 and runs through November 28, 2011. A special reception and gallery talk with Charles Gatewood happens October 15, 2011 from 2 to 5 PM. The show features photos showing “the Beats, Wall Street, rock stars, artistic nudes, and journeys within the radical sex community”.

Gatewood is best known for documenting America’s emerging sexual underground and helping launch the Modern Primitives movement into popular consciousness. He is the self-proclaimed “family photographer of America’s erotic underground.” His early photographs possess a distinct political edge as he frequently shot life on the street, including Mardi Gras and early gay parades in New York City. In Helmut Werb’s profile of Charles Gatewood in Black+White Magazine he observes, “There is an engaging, almost naive quality in Gatewood’s early work; not exactly innocent, more untamed and raucous, almost like photographs of a wild kid in a candy store.” This exhibition features a selection of these early photographs, along with favorite images from his later work.

photos by Charles Gatewood

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff