What Ever Happened to Freddy Darling?

Karma / Gordon Robichaux
4 x 5.5 inches
Publication Date:
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What Ever Happened to Freddy Darling?
Zine by Frederick Weston
Republished by Karma / Gordon Robichaux, New York, 2021
44 pages

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About Frederick Weston

Frederick Weston was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1946, and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where he participated in the club scene before moving to New York City in the mid-1970s. He studied menswear design and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and held a bachelor of science from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, where he was instrumental in founding the Zeta Beta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the university’s first African American fraternity. Weston was a self-taught interdisciplinary artist who worked in varied media: collage, drawing, sculpture, photography, performance, and creative writing. Over the course of his time in New York, he developed a vast, encyclopedic archive of images and ephemera related to fashion, the body, advertising, AIDS, and queer subjects.

In 2020, he received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’s Roy Lichtenstein Award and presented a site-specific installation at the gallery in the Ace Hotel in New York. Solo exhibitions of Weston’s work include Frederick Weston at Ortuzar Projects in collaboration with Gordon Robichaux, New York (2020­–21); Frederick Weston: Happening at Gordon Robichaux, New York (2019); and Frederick Weston, A Retrospective: For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When All You Ever Needed Was the Blues at Ferris State University’s Fine Art Gallery (2011).

Weston exhibited his work widely in such group exhibitions as Souls Grown Diaspora, Apexart, New York (2020); A Page from My Intimate Journal (Part II)—, Parker Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); Tag: Proposals on Queer Play and the Ways Forward, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (2018); This Must Be the Place, 55 Walker, New York (2018); Inside, Out Here, La MaMa Galleria, New York (2018); A Page from My Intimate Journal (Part I)—, Gordon Robichaux, New York (2018); AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism, Museum of the City of New York (2017); Found: Queerness as Archaeology, Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, New York (2017); and Art AIDS America, organized by the Tacoma Art Museum, in partnership with the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2016–17).

Weston became an artist member of Visual AIDS in 1998 and participated in countless Visual AIDS projects, performances, and panel discussions, including the reading event “Metaphors and their Distemper” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2015). Weston’s work was shown in the Visual AIDS exhibitions Persons of Interest, Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, New York (2016); Everyday, La MaMa Galleria, New York (2016,); Mixed Messages, LaMaMa Galleria, New York (2011); Release, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, New York (2003); and Go Figure, the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, New York (2002). 

Weston’s work has been lauded in the New York Times on multiple occasions and in numerous publications, including Artforum, the Brooklyn RailHyperallergicNew York Magazine,and Hauser & Wirth’s Ursula magazine. In 2016, Theodore Kerr conducted an oral history with Weston for the Archives of American Art’s oral-history project Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic.

Frederick Weston died on October 21, 2020, after a private battle with cancer.