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Avant-garde artists honored at NY Acker Awards

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Creativity was in the house as the 8th Annual New York Acker Awards were held at Theater for the New City on Sun., Dec. 11.

Organized by local documentarian Clayton Patterson, the annual event was created to recognize cutting-edge, avant-garde excellence in the New York metro area, though most of the recipients are usually from Downtown Manhattan or have links to it in some way.

Steve Marcus won an NY Acker for illustration. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Seth Tobocman was recognized for his activist art. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Artist Sue Strande was an NY Acker winner. (Photo by Robert Butcher)

At the same time, the awards also mourn the passing of “irreplaceable individuals” who have exerted a profound influence on the scene and the world.

Jordan King received the Candy Darling Award for helping keep alive the history of Candy Darling, the Andy Warhol transgender superstar. A Canadian multidisciplinary artist, performer, curator and writer, King’s creative practice is rooted in archival research and intergenerational connectivity.

Jennifer Gonzalez-Blitz won for art. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Daniel Cortes was an awardee in the art category. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Walter Steding was honored for music. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Walter Steding. (Photo by Robert Butcher)

Annie Sprinkle received the Lifetime Achievement Award. In the 1960s and ’90s Sprinkle developed new genres of sexually oriented media, including edu-porn, docu-porn and post-porn, plus feminist erotica. In 2008, she and Beth Stephens married the Earth and launched the Ecosex Movement.

Along with Patterson, Phoebe Legere, the multidisciplinary artist, was the co-host for this year’s NY Ackers event.

Sid Kaplan won for photography. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Dennis Flores was honored for video activism. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Lucy Sante, center, received an NYAcker Award from co-hosts Clayton Patterson and Phoebe Legere. A writer, critic and artist formerly known as Luc, Sante is the author of the classic chronicle “Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York.” She announced she was transitioning to female in September 2021. (Photo by Robert Butcher)

“We believe that the New York Ackers’ recognition of those around us works to reinforce our collective memory,” Patterson said, “which in turn becomes a bulwark against the mass commodification of life that market forces use to grind away at what makes us unique and gives us agency. The journey continues. The community grows, and the avant garde carries on.”

“Freaky Fridge” was honored for his art. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Ackers supporter Joey Goodwin from Overthrow boxing, left, and John Gagliano, Overthrow’s artist, who designed the NY Ackers event’s booklet, which contains bios of all the honorees. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Elissa Sampson. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Peggy Awesh was honored for art. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Edward Rivera won for video. (Photo by Robert Butcher)

This year’s list of honorees included: Howie Abrams (nonfiction writing), Peggy Awesh (filmmaking), Eric Blitz (music), Jonathan Boyarin (history), Burning Buddha (music), Jose “Freaky Fridge” Cruz (art), Daniel Cortes (art), Al Diaz (art), Earl Einhorn (art), Ray Felix (comic art), Dennis Flores (video activism), Galinsky (poetry), J. Gonzalez (illustration), Ethan Hill (filmmaking), Sid Kaplan (photography), Power Malu (community activism), Steve Marcus (illustration), Marc Miller (curating), Roger Miret (music), JB Nicholas (journalism), Anthony Pedone (filmmaking), Edward Rivera (video), Elissa Sampson (history), Lucy Sante (writing), Raquel Shapira (graphic arts), Walter Steding (music), Sue Strande (art), Seth Tobocman (activist art), Johnny Velardi (art) and John Wyatt (photography).

John Wyatt’s photography earned him an NY Acker. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
John Wyatt gets a coveted NY Ackers box. (Photo by Robert Butcher)

If you missed the NY Acker Awards ceremony, Leonard Abrams has posted the entire 2021/22 Acker book online on the East Village Eye Web site.

Burning Buddha was recognized in the music genre. (Photo by Robert Butcher)
Curator Marc Miller also got a NY Acker. (Photo by Robert Butcher)

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