In 2010, artist David Wojnarowicz's 20-minute unfinished film Fire in My Belly created a national art controversy when it was removed from the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery at the request of Catholic League president Bill Donohue and then – Congressman John Boehner, who objected to a scene of ants crawling over a crucified Jesus. While the controversial film is hardly Wojnarowicz's most celebrated work – his photograph of a buffalo falling from a cliff became a symbol of the AIDS crisis and graced a U2 album cover – its title was the inspiration for Cynthia Carr's 2012 biography of the artist. Following a lecture at CalArts this week, New York – based Carr will read from her Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz at Skylight Books. “It's unusual for us to do an event more than a month after [a book's] publication date, but we didn't want to pass up this opportunity,” says Skylight events manager Mary Williams, who notes that Wojnarowicz's memoir, 7 Miles a Second, is a staff favorite. Carr wrote about Wojnarowicz as an arts reporter for the Village Voice but got to know him best while caring for him during the last nine months of his life, before he died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1992. Via email, she says the book is a way to talk about not just “a remarkable artist/writer but the context around him: the East Village art scene, the AIDS crisis and the culture war. It's all in there!” Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Mon., May 5, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $22. (323) 660-1175,

Mon., May 5, 7:30 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 05/05/14)

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly