A few months ago, our SOLDier Steve Stoppert offered the 2nd Avenue wall to Daniele Albanese AKA The Dusty Rebel for Pride 2020. Similar last year, Daniele intended to bring in a queer artist, but then we got hit with this horrible pandemic, and plans fell through. As the weeks went by, the death toll rose, and most Pride events were cancelled. But the space was still available to create a celebration for the queer community and our long history of using the street for performance and protest.
Talking with friend Luna Park about what to do, she suggested to fill the space with his own photos. It never occurred to him — after documenting murals for years, he had never done one himself. And with social distancing, and general strange days, there would be the challenge of not getting help from the many mural experts he knows.
Digging through his archive, the excitement of creating this collage of historic moments he was witness to became apparent: The Drag March, kiss-ins, Gays Against Guns, Queer Liberation March, The Dyke March. As he pasted these photos of queer icons, mentors, activists, and friends, he experienced each moment all over again, and relived the shared experience with these street subjects.