From The Archives

This Fall, the Eyes of the Voice Are Everywhere

No one captured the movers and shakers of New York City — and America at large — with more immediacy and verve than Fred W. McDarrah


This fall, whether in the East Village, in Chelsea, or in print, Fred W. McDarrah is everywhere, and so we’ve gone back half a century to remind readers and viewers why we still care.

1968 had been a tumultuous year, and McDarrah zeroed in on the politicians, activists, artists, performers, and con men who had made it so. In the January 2, 1969, issue, the Voice ran a spread of McDarrah shots accompanied by succinct captions that prove intriguing fifty years on. For instance, one reads, “Warhol found out it was for real.” Perhaps, since Andy had survived an assassination attempt six months earlier, the Voice was implying that his world of silvery artifice had crashed down upon him. If that was the case, Andy wasn’t buying it since six years later, in his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), he opined, “Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there — I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen to you in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television — you don’t feel anything.” And to take one more example: “Roy Cohn Denies Everything.” Indeed, by 1969 the take-no-prisoners Republican fixer Cohn had been long known as a major-league prevaricator and stonewaller. All the better to mentor a young Donald Trump in the Seventies and Eighties.

See below for information on McDarrah events around the city.

From October 5 to 7 the Howl! Happening space in the East Village will showcase McDarrah photos along with work by dozens of other Voice photographers in an homage to McDarrah’s many years as a mentor to younger photographers and as the newspaper’s picture editor.

A McPhoto Family: Photography From the Village Voice
Howl! Happening
6 East 1st Street
October 5–7


The book Fred W. McDarrah: New York Scenes was published this week. Many vintage prints from the book are on view at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea. 

Fred W. McDarrah: New York Scenes
Steven Kasher Gallery

515 West 26th Street
Through November 3