For some, normal is all they will ever want. Normal is familiar, assimilating and easy to get lost in. But it isn’t for everyone. If you were a lover of the unorthodox and artistic counterculture in seventies NYC, there’s a chance you were photographed by Lee Black Childers, be it rockstar, Warhol wannabe or larger than life drag queen.
Soft-spoken, witty, an engaging raconteur, Mr. Childers left his Kentucky home in 1967 seeking counterculture excitement; after a stop in San Francisco (where, he said, he took LSD with Timothy Leary), he landed in New York.
Almost immediately he found himself at the Factory, the Andy Warhol studio that had become a gathering place for artists and musicians. He told Warhol that he aspired to be a photographer; in that case, Warhol told him, he should just call himself one.
“He said, ‘Say you’re a photographer, and you’re a photographer,’ ” Mr. Childers recalled in an online interview. “And he pointed across the Factory to Candy Darling, who was one of the great drag queens, and he said: ‘Look at her. She says she’s a woman. She is.’ So from that moment on, I was a photographer.”
Childers died on April 6th while in Los Angeles for a retrospective of his work. Check out the rest New York Times’s Bruce Weber’s obituary for more information.