Charlie Ahearn: Times Square Videos
January 11 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Looking through Ahearn’s window, we enter a subjective view of the street preachers, lunatic ranters, sidewalk performers, drug addicts, hookers, thieves, police, homeless, pedestrians…it’s enough to entertain even the most jaded B-movie fan… —Carlo McCormick, Paper magazine, June 1991
Howl is pleased to host an evening of Times Square videos by Charlie Ahearn reflecting life there with his wife, painter Jane Dickson, and their two children, Joe and Eve. Doin’ Time In Times Square (1991) is a home movie capturing the capital of sleaze in all its glory, shot from the windows overlooking 8th Ave and 43rd Street. Show World, the Adonis Theatre, and Paradise Alley offer backdrops to another drug deal gone bad. Home movies of Christmas, New Year’s, and his son Joe’s birthday mark the passage of time. Jane in Peep Land (1993) is Ahearn’s art documentary about Dickson’s lurid paintings that reflect her feelings and the contradictions she experienced witnessing the neon-lit life on the streets.
Ahearn will also premiere a newly finished video, Times Square Motor Hotel (1986-1992) (2020), unearthing fresh images from the video archive that mix personal moments and street observations capturing life in the Deuce and Times Square.
In a prophetic statement, Ahearn told New York magazine in June ’91, “I wanted to let people see what I saw. In 10 years, the world that I’m showing in this tape will be gone.”
Ahearn has been involved in hip hop since the late 70s with his Super-8 kung-fu movie The Deadly Art of Survival. With Fred Brathwaite, he produced and directed the seminal hip-hop film Wild Style, released worldwide in 1983. Ahearn directed short films such as 5 Grand Masters, Dirt Style, and Dancing Industry. His feature-length documentary Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer was released through Oscilloscope Films. Ahearn had a one-person art-exhibition, Scratch Ecstasy, at P.P.O.W. and showed silk-screen paintings in the graffiti- and street-art shows Beyond the Streets, held in L.A. in 2018 and New York in 2019. The artist resides in New York.