Skip to content

Category: Video

Tusler talks photography and disability

Posted in Disability Art, News, Phototgraphy, Talks, and Video

Photograph: a youngYoung man in a wheelchair with the left foot on the floor. He stares into the camera with a direct gaze and holds a coors beer in his right hand. He wears a wife beater t shirt and cut-off levis so that we see his leg braces and tattoo of a bird on his left arm.
Portrait of Anthony Tusler by Martin Tusler c. 1974

You can tell from this portrait of Anthony Tusler as a young man in his wheelchair that he has always been bad-ass and cool. Wearing leg braces with cut-off levis, a wife beater that reveals a tattoo, leather cowboy boots and slicked back hair, he holds a beer in his right hand, leans forward into the frame and dares us to respond and judge. Fast forward a few decades and Anthony is still challenging us with new work and an ongoing mission to change the common currency of disability imagery. In his recent portraits of lives lived with disability he is documenting the movement (and the breadth of disability culture) in tender and subtle ways, that are a far cry from the drama of the march and the sit-in. His talk at the SFPL titled “Disability photographs: Civil Rights, Identity and Representation” shares some choice details of his life and work, and the development of his disability identity.