“The Eve of Porn: Linda Lovelace” opens December 9th at the Museum of Sex

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“The Eve of Porn: Linda Lovelace” opens December 9th at the Museum of Sex. Spotlighting never before exhibited photography by legendary photographer, Milton Greene, and rare artifacts of the sex icon who started it all.

Courtesy of Yuliya and Kevin Mattei of YK Gallery, Inc, in collaboration with Joshua Green and The Archives LLC www.ykgallery.com

Photo from The Lost Images of Linda Lovelace November 29, 1973

Rising to fame with the 1972 release of Deep Throat, Linda Lovelace became the original porn star. Performing acts of graphic sex on camera, including the signature act of “deep throating,” Linda Lovelace, born Linda Boreman, became a household name and the film a trailblazer of the pornographic genre. Considered “Porn Chic,” screenings of Deep Throat, the tale of a woman whose clitoris was located in the back of her throat, were attended by celebrities from Jackie O to Jack Nicholson. Linda became both the girl everyone wanted to attend their party and the girl that everyone wanted to have sex with, a star studded list including Hugh Hefner, Ted Kennedy and Paul Newman.

Lovelace had become such a celebrity that in 1973, Milton H. Greene (1922-1985), one of the most celebrated photographers in the world, known for the “Black Sitting” of Marilyn Monroe, agreed to shoot Lovelace. Never before exhibited, these “Lost Images of Linda Lovelace” had long remained under ownership of a Polish financial institution and a private owner for nearly four decades before going on auction in 2013. Purchased by Yuliya and Kevin Mattei of YK Gallery, Inc., the couple entered into a partnership with Joshua Greene’s The Archives, LLC, which since 2006 has been working on the restoration and marketing of a 60,000-image collection created by his father, Milton H. Greene. “With a scar from her breasts down to her abdomen, fully nude photographs of Linda Lovelace are virtually nonexistent,” says Yuliya Mattei, Co-founder and Director of YK Gallery. “These photographs alter the way people look at her…they show she wanted to be a superstar.” In addition to donating the works on view to the Museum of Sex, YK Gallery will be selling limited edition fine art prints from this rare and sizeable collection, authenticated by Joshua Greene. “The Eve of Porn” at the Museum of Sex will be the first public viewing of these works.

Alongside these photographic treasures, the exhibition will feature photographs of Lovelace taken before her Deep Throat fame, including pornographic images of Linda and her husband-manager, Chuck Traynor, whom Linda asserted years later had forced her at gunpoint to perform in Deep Throat as well as earlier stag loops she was featured in. Traynor insists he is responsible for Linda’s fame, and has been quoted saying, “There never was a Linda Lovelace. I’m Linda Lovelace. Linda Lovelace got where she got because of my brain, not because of her throat.” These and other rare photographs and ephemera on loan from Eric Danville, one of Lovelace’s biographers and the author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, help tell Linda’s complicated story.

Lovelace, once the poster child of pornography, later denounced her participation in the industry in her 1980 book, Ordeal. A deeply polarizing book, Lovelace’s initial fans turned on her for renouncing porn. The feminist anti-porn movement, and individuals such as Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dorkin from the organization Women Against Porn, applauded her for validating their efforts. Porn became both the subject of free speech debates and a civil rights issue in the 1980s, with Lovelace caught in the middle. Footage from the forthcoming documentary, Linda Lovelace’s Loose Lips, created by Legs McNeil, the author of The Other Hollywood, and Alex Chmaj, helps round out Linda’s legacy of proclamations and reversals, which spanned the instrumental decades of the porn industry’s inception. The documentary, scheduled for public release in late 2013, includes segments from Linda’s last interview on camera before her untimely death in 2002.

“It all started with Linda Lovelace,” says curator Sarah Forbes. “But while much has been said, books have been written and films created, the public is only left with more questions. Did Linda bite from the apple of porn willingly or was she forced?”

About the Museum of Sex:
The Mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. In its exhibitions, programs and publications, the Museum of Sex is committed to opening discourse and exchange and to bringing to the public the best in current scholarship. From fine art to historical ephemera to film, the Museum of Sex preserves an ever-growing collection of sexually related objects that would otherwise be destroyed and discarded due to their sexual content.

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Jim O'Shea
Museum of Sex
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