P•P•O•W + David Wojnarowicz Foundation + Adam's Nest

P·P·O·W and the David Wojnarowicz Foundation, in collaboration with Adam’s Nest, are pleased to announce a limited edition t-shirt, produced on the occasion of what-would-have-been the famed artist’s seventieth birthday. Showcasing a number of Wojnarowicz’s iconic stenciled symbols—most notably his burning house—the shirt will be sold exclusively through Adam’s Nest in Provincetown, with a percentage of all proceeds going to the Wojnarowicz Foundation for their ongoing work preserving the artist’s legacy.

David Wojnarowicz in burning house t-shirt

Born September 14, 1954 in New Jersey, Wojnarowicz would go on to become one of the most incisive and prolific American artists of the 1980s and 90s, typifying the East Village art scene of downtown New York, and fiercely advocating for First Amendment rights and those living with AIDS, before the disease prematurely took his life in 1992.

Throughout the early-1980s, Wojnarowicz spray-painted his stencils across downtown New York, initially as announcements for his No Wave band 3 Teens Kill 4—No Motive, before expanding his visual vocabulary to include a burning house, a target, a falling man, a map outline of the continental United States, a dive-bombing aircraft, and a dog/wolf head, among others. These symbols would be variously used throughout Wojnarowicz’s career, appearing in intimate works on paper, as well as large-scale multi-panel Masonite compositions.

The 70th Birthday t-shirt at Adam’s Nest will re-employ the burning house logo in homage to a shirt that Wojnarowicz wore with the same stencil throughout the 80s. And in deference to Wojnarowicz’s late partner Tom Rauffenbart, who established the Estate of David Wojnarowicz after the former’s passing, the Foundation’s logo appears over the right shoulder blade, where Tom similarly had a tattoo of the same burning house.

david wojnarowicz burning house t-shirt

Coinciding with the t-shirt at Adam’s Nest, a whole slate of programs are scheduled in September to celebrate Wojnarowicz’s birthday, with film screenings, performances, book readings, and memorials planned at major museum institutions in New York and abroad.

David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) has had retrospectives at the galleries of the Illinois State University, curated by Barry Blinderman, 1990, and at the New Museum, curated by Dan Cameron, 1999. A third retrospective, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, co-curated by David Kiehl and David Breslin, opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in July 2018. The widely acclaimed exhibition traveled to the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid in May 2019, and the Musee d/Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City in November 2019. A concurrent exhibition of Wojnarowicz’s films and photographs opened at the KW Berlin in 2019. Wojnarowicz: Fuck You Faggot Fucker, a comprehensive feature-length documentary directed by Chris McKim, premiered in November 2020 and was named one of 2021’s best documentaries by Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Esquire, and IndieWire, among others.