New York Art Book Fair
September 18-20, 2015

Hal FIscher, Gay Semiotics: A Photographic Study of Visual Coding Among Homosexual Men

Booth PR3

Images / Press Release

Press Release

Cherry and Martin presents Hal Fischer’s print portfolio Gay Semiotics, never-before-seen ephemera and the new second edition of Fischer’s seminal book, Gay Semiotics: a photographic study of visual coding among homosexual men (NFS Press, 1977). The book and portfolio will be available for purchase at the booth, and a book signing will be held with Fischer on Saturday at 2pm. A conversation bewteen Hal Fischer and independent curator Tina Kukielski will occur on Saturday, September 19th at 12pm.

Gay Semiotics is one of the first works to bring the language of structuralism and linguistics into the photo world. It presents the codes of sexual orientation and identification Fischer saw in San Francisco’s Castro and Haight Ashbury districts as a tongue-in-cheek anthropological essay.

Nearly four decades later, Gay Semiotics remains a proactive statement from a voice within the gay community. It is a window onto a unique moment in history - the years just after Watergate and before the political assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone; the trauma of Jonestown; the ascendancy of California's former governor, Ronald Reagan, to the height of American politics; and the devastation wrought by AIDS.

(Cherry and Martin archive)

Philip Martin Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-6pm and by appointment. For further information and images please contact the gallery at +310-559-0100 or

Philip Martin Gallery
2712 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034