Clowns: Terrifying

Peter Hujar’s Untitled (1974).Courtesy of The Peter Hujar Archive and the Matthew Marks
Gallery, New York.

This Joker-like character may lack the sex appeal of Heath Ledger’s brooding villain, but he’s got the whole nefarious-psycho-clown thing down. Peter Hujar, the photographer best known for his seventies-era snapshots of seedy downtown scenesters, first showed this picture in the Midtown Y Photography Gallery’s late-1974 exhibition “Coming of Age in America.” This photo and others from the gallery’s repertoire enjoy a second life at the New York Public Library’s current show, “Making the Scene,” up through September 16. —Rachel Wolff