Born in 1934 in Trenton (New Jersey), Peter Hujar was a very important American photographer. In the 70s and 80s, he was a central figure in the group of artists, musicians, writers and performers that made up the New York art scene. His art, like his personality, never compromised. With an extraordinary knowledge of photographic techniques, he created black-and-white portraits of people, animals and landscapes that capture beauty and transcend the boundary between life and death. They have become a point of reference for many photographers. Intensely emotive without being excessive, his images pause time but, at the same time, remain contemporary; his compositions are classical but never conventional. His first work, Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction from Susan Sontag, was published in 1976. After that, he never published anything, partly because of his defiant personality and refusal to concede to the demands of the art market. He died of AIDS in 1987.
His works were exhibited in 1994 in two historic retrospectives at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and at the Fotomuseum in Winterthur in Switzerland. In 2007, they were exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.