Tommy Turner

An artist working in print, performance, photography,and film, Tommy Turner is considered a key figure of Downtown No Wave and Cinema of Transgression. While working days as a genetic research scientist and nights as a bartender at the Peppermint Lounge, the New York native rose to prominence through his zine Redrum and collaborations with Richard Kern (Goodbye 42nd Street, Manhattan Love Suicides) and David Wojnarowicz (Where Evil Dwells).

In the mid-1980s, Turner directed a number of arresting small gauge films that retain the ability to inspire shock, awe, and revulsion, while conveying a biting sense of humor and incisive social commentary. With a cinematic oeuvre running approximately feature length, Turner’s subject matter has managed to encompass the intersections of black magic, domestic dysfunction, addiction, rock ‘n’ roll, demagoguery, murder, and wasted teenhood, often addressed through gleefully graphic, lo-fi special effects that swerve between clinical detachment and sardonic irreverence.

Turner's work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, San Francisco; Anthology Film Archives, New York, and The British Film Institute, London, among others.

(Bio image shows a still from Rat Trap, made in collaboration with Tessa Hughes.)