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Photographer David Armstrong Dies at 60

Photographer David Armstrong Dies at 60


The artist delighted in life's imperfections

News has been circulating via social media that David Armstrong has died over the weekend at the age of 60. His agency, Jed Root, confirmed that the photographer had passed in L.A. on Saturday night. He reportedly had been suffering from liver cancer.

Armstrong first gained critical attention alongside his "Boston School" friends Nan Goldin, Jack Pierson, Mark Morrisroe, and Stephen "Tabboo!" Tashjian. Oscillating between fine art and fashion photography, Armstrong used natural lighting and didn't rely on digital photo refinements. He captured a tender, erotic element in all of his work. Last year, he collaborated with Bottega Veneta on its cruise collection campaign, and photographed a fashion editorial for this magazine titled "New Romantics." He also shot Out's 2008 cover of Tilda Swinton.

In 2011, with the release of his last monograph,615 Jefferson Avenue, the address of his Brooklyn home in Bedford-Stuyvesant where he photographed most of the subjects, he spoke with Pierson about his process and goals, saying:

"My work is always like that. It's mostly horrible pictures and then a great one. That's also why I hate people looking at them, because I trust in myself that there's going to be something pretty good, but I really don't want to start processing it until a bit later. Because at the time that you're doing it, there's this whole sense of urgency that something has to be great. And as the day goes on, it doesn't seem so crucial anymore. I always think you want to come away with some beautiful, beautiful picture of the person, the boy, that's really everything you want to express about them. Or, at least something you can rub one out to."

The man and his talent will be missed.

See images from 615 Jefferson Avenue on

In the Galleries: The Dark Parade : The New Romantics

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Jerry Portwood