Malanga with his cat, Archie, in 2005. Photograph by Asako Kitaori
Gerard Joseph Malanga
March 20, 1943
|Education||School of Industrial Art|
|Alma mater||Wagner College|
|Occupation||Poet, photographer, filmmaker, curator and archivist|
Malanga was born in the Bronx in 1943, the only child of Italian immigrant parents. In 1959, at the beginning of his senior year at the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan, Malanga became a regular on Alan Freed's The Big Beat, televised on Channel 5 (WNEW) in New York City. He graduated from high school with a major in Advertising Design (1960). He was introduced to poetry by his senior class English teacher, poet Daisy Aldan, who had a profound influence on his life and work from then on. He enrolled at the University of Cincinnati's College of Art & Design (1960), and was mentored by the poet, Richard Eberhart who was the university's resident poet for 1961. He dropped out at the end of the Spring semester. In the fall of 1961, Malanga was admitted to Wagner College in Staten Island on a fellowship anonymously donated for the express purpose of advancing his creative abilities as a poet and artist. At Wagner he befriended one of his English professors, Willard Maas, and his wife Marie Menken, who became his mentors. In June 1963, he went to work for Andy Warhol as "a summer job that lasted seven years," as he likes to put it. Malanga dropped out of Wagner College in 1964, freeing him up to work for Warhol full-time.
Andy Warhol and The Factory
Gerard Malanga worked closely for Andy Warhol during Warhol's most creative period, from 1963 to 1970. A February 17, 1992 article in The New York Times referred to him as "Andy Warhol's most important associate."
Malanga was involved in all phases of Warhol's creative output in silkscreen painting and filmmaking. He acted in many of the early Warhol films, including Kiss (1963), Harlot (1964), Soap Opera (1964), Couch (1964), Vinyl (1965), Camp (1965), Chelsea Girls (1966); and co-produced Bufferin (1967) in which he reads his poetry, deemed to be the longest spoken-word movie on record at 33-minutes nonstop. Malanga played a combination of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby in Warhol's film Since (1966). Also in 1966, he choreographed the music of the Velvet Underground for Warhol's multimedia presentation, The Exploding Plastic Inevitable. In 1969, Malanga was one of the founding editors, along with Warhol and John Wilcock, of Interview magazine. In December 1970, Malanga left Warhol's studio to pursue his work in photography.
Malanga and Warhol collaborated on the nearly five-hundred individual 3-minute "Screen Tests," which resulted in a selection for a book of the same name, published by Kulchur Press, in 1967. Neither Warhol or Malanga were photographers at the time. Thus, by virtue of their collaboration with the motion picture medium, creating in what amounted to post-photographs, they became professional photographers.
Malanga's photography spans over four decades and encompasses portraits, nudes and the urban documentation of "New York's Changing Scene," a phrase which he adapted from Margot Gayle, an architectural historian and advocate, whose Sunday News column of the same name had a direct bearing on the development of his photographic eye.
Malanga has always sought someone who was rarely photographed or placed in situations and surroundings unique to the pictures he was shooting. Within the first six years of taking pictures he managed to create three of the most prominent portraits of post-modern photography: Charles Olson for the interview he made with Olson for The Paris Review (1969); Iggy Pop nude in the penthouse apartment they shared one summer weekend (1971); and William Burroughs in front of the corporate headquarters that bears his family name (1975). All in all, he has photographed and archived hundreds of poets and artists over the years. He is also a photographer of a number of firsts, including Herbert Gericke, the last farmer of Staten Island (1981); and Jack Kerouac's typewritten roll for On the Road (1983).
In his introduction to Malanga's first monograph, Resistance to Memory (Arena Editions, 1998), Ben Maddow, distinguished photo historian and poet had this to say: "Malanga has that great essential virtue of the photographer: humility before the complex splendor of the real thing… Malanga is the photo-historian of this culture."
In reviewing Malanga's groundbreaking book two years later, Screen Tests Portraits Nudes 1964-1996 (Steidl), Fred McDarrah remarked that "Malanga is among the elite editors and photographers who have long dazzled and propelled the New York avant garde."
During the course of his years working with Warhol and after, Malanga shot and produced twelve films of his own. His personal archive contains still and motion-picture records of life at The Factory.
“Gerard Malanga is a fine poet among his peers writing in America today, one of the innovators of an avant guard new wave style now & for the future.” —Allen Ginsberg
"The poet, filmmaker, photographer Gerard Malanga kindly gave me a slot before him, my first poetry reading. Gerard was a major creative force at Andy Warhol’s Factory assisting in every phase of Andy’s diverse processes. He developed Screen Tests with Warhol, and was a founder of Interview Magazine. Possessing energy, vision and generosity, he continues his work. Thank you for giving a rambunctious young poet her start so long ago." —Patti Smith
"Now and again a poet is found who is a complex of many capabilities and patterns, all relating but none so isolating in its practice that the one is lost to the other. I have marveled for years at Gerard Malanga's articulate endurance as a poet—and also as a photographer of singular power. He has moved with deftness and great authority in the various worlds of art and pop, and never lost either his wits or his footing. In short, he reminds me as do few others of what poets might be in a common world if only they could or would." —Robert Creeley
"Malanga, Warhol's studio assistant, provided the latter with his silkscreen know-how learned from Leon Hecht; in so doing, Malanga formed the bridge from Floriano Vecchi to Hecht to Warhol." —Robert Pincus-Witten, Artforum, Summer 2008
In "Vinyl," Gerard Malanga gives a performance that is unique in cinema history. No previous acting or filmic standard can be used in judging his contribution. Startling and distressing, Malanga's performance will mystify the uninitiated and upset the thoughtful." —from a press release by Ronald Tavel
"These obit-elegies are among the best poems in the canons of contemporary world literature. They bring the reader up close and personal into the persons and places of Gerard Malanga's unique and life-long creative visionary gift. They are wonderful portraits of those many great talents he knew and respected. A true poet." —Charles Plymell
"As he rounds the corner of his seventies, Gerard Malanga’s new poems are steeped in a past that is intricately present. Figures and scenes from his overlapping lives—poet, photographer, dancer, man-about-town—press on him, and bring along the light in the room, the street, the trees, and any questions that remain. It’s all one poem, a kind of architecture of memory, as past and present commingle to "whisper sweet nothings," the moving song of a pivotal cross-cultural figure." —Aram Saroyan
"Sometimes you dream that there’s someone you love who loves you… you wake up & for a few minutes you know that somewhere there’s someone you love who loves you… & then you wake up into being awake. Gerard’s poems are like that…" —Peter Lamborn Wilson
"You have revolutionized the image of the poet so that he is no longer only a man of words, but also multimedia artist, dancer, model and at home in the world of the stars." -Gottfried Distl, Austrian writer & multimedia artist.
"I saw Gerard Malanga once in a pitch-black theatre in David Lynch's nightclub Silencio in Paris. He was up onstage, in the spotlight, reading his poetry and the audience was so silent you could have heard a needle drop. I finally sat down in a trance on the floor, taking in the words, thinking how beautiful it was that he made all these people really listen. To poetry." -Lisa Marie Jarlborn, editor of Love Love (Paris).
"I hope you realize the impact you made on hundreds of people during your visit to Buffalo. You were so kind in eloquently sharing your creative pursuits and life’s adventures. I was thrilled with the feedback I that have since received on your poetry. In regards to the Albright-Knox event, it was a real art experience – people didn’t know what to fully expect – and when the event was over, the crowd stood and gave you a prolonged standing ovation. With the crowd giving their approval, I will never forget looking at you – and you briefly looking at me with a twinkle in your eye. It’s a feeling that I’ll never forget. Judging from the feedback I still receive...the people of Buffalo won’t forget your visit either." -Doug Sitler
- Screen Tests: A Diary (with Andy Warhol) (1967)
- The Last Benedetta Poems (1969)
- Gerard Malanga Selbsporträt eines Dichters (1970)
- 10 Poems for 10 Poets Black Sparrow Press (1970)
- chic death (1971)
- Wheels of Light (1972)
- The Poetry of Night, Dawn and Dream/Nine Poems for César Vallejo (1972)
- Licht/Light (1973, bilingual)
- Incarnations: Poems 1965-1971 (1974)
- Rosebud (1975)
- Leaping Over Gravestones (1976)
- Ten Years After: The Selected Benedetta Poems (1977)
- 100 years have passed (1978)
- This Will Kill That (1983)
- Three Diamonds Black Sparrow Press (1991)
- Mythologies of the Heart, Black Sparrow Press (1996)
- No Respect: New & Selected Poems 1964-2000, Black Sparrow Press (2001)
- AM: Archives Malanga, Volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4 (2011)
- Three Broadside Poems, Bottle of Smoke Press (2013)
- Malanga Chasing Vallejo: Selected Poems: Cesar Vallejo: New Translations and Notes: Gerard Malanga. Three Rooms Press, Bilingual edition (2014)
- Tomboy & Other Tales, Bottle of Smoke Press (2014)
- Whisper Sweet Nothings & Other Poems, Bottle of Smoke Press (2017)
- Cool & Other Poems, Bottle of Smoke Press (2019)
- The Brief Hidden Life of Angus MacLise
- The Collected Poetry of Piero Heliczer
- Screen Tests/A Diary, in collaboration with Andy Warhol (1967)
- Six Portraits (1975)
- Portrait: Theory (With Robert Mapplethorpe, David Attie, and others) (1981)
- Autobiography of a Sex Thief (1985)
- Good Girls (1994)
- Seizing the Moment (1997)
- Resistance to Memory (1998)
- Screen Tests Portraits Nudes 1964-1996 (2000)
- Someone's Life (2008)
- Photobooths (Waverly Press, NYC, 2013)
- Ghostly Berms (Waverly Press, NYC, 2013)
- Julien Mérieau, Astonish me! / étonnez-moi! (Warm, 2016)
- The Beats Portfolio (Bottle of Smoke Press, 2018)
Photo and written biographies
- Long Day's Journey into the Past: Gunnar B. Kvaran speaks with Gerard Malanga (2008)
- Souls (2010)
- Gerard Malanga by Lars Movin (2011)
- Academy Leader (1964)
- Twice a Man (1964)
- Andy Warhol: Portraits of the Artist as a Young Man (1965)
- Prelude to International Velvet Debutante (1966)
- Portrait of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (1966). World premiere: Vienna International Film Festival, 2005.
- In Search of the Miraculous (1967)
- The Recording Zone Operator (1968, incomplete)
- The filmmaker records a portion of his life in the month of August (1968)
- Preraphaelite Dream (with music by Angus MacLise, 1968)
- The Children (AFI grant with music by Angus MacLise, 1969)
- April Diary (1970)
- Vision (incorporating Bufferin, 1976)
- Gerard Malanga's Film Notebooks, with music by Angus MacLise (2005). World premiere: Vienna International Film Festival, 2005.
- THREE weeks WITH my DOG with 48 Cameras (1999)
- "Gerard Malanga - David R. Godine, Publisher"
- "History of Art: History of Photography".
- "Gerard Malanga's Journey From Andy Warhol's Stage Dancer To Factory Poet". The Huffington Post. 4 August 2010.
- "Gerard Malanga". All Tomorrow's Parties.
- "History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places - Smithsonian".
- "Andy Warhol's Interview magazine with Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, John Wilcock and Andy Warhol".
- Malanga Chasing Vallejo: Selected Poems: César Vallejo: New Translations and Notes: Gerard Malanga: César Vallejo, Gerard Malanga: 9780989512572: Amazon.com: Books. ASIN 0989512576.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
- "Gerard Malanga".
- "Twice a Man 1963 Directed by Gregory J. Markopoulos". letterboxd.com. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- Official website
- Publisher's Author Page http://www.bospress.net/gerardmalanga.html]
- Gerard Malanga on IMDb
- 2018 Interview, Loud Alien Noize
- 2002 Interview, 3:AM Magazine
- 2004 Interview, Rain Taxi Review of Books
- 2009 Interview, Smithsonian Magazine
- 2011 Interview, The Poetry Foundation
- 2011 Interview, The Paris Review
- Michael Limnios interviews Gerard Malanga (2013).
- Guide to the Gerard Malanga Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
- A Purchase in the White Botanica: The Collected Poetry of Piero Heliczer, (2001), Granary Books.
- Official Facebook web site https://www.facebook.com/GerardMalangaOfficial/