John Denny Ashley, Robert Morgan, and the Pagan Babies
With essays by Kevin Nance and Jonathan Coleman
The conceptual lovechild of photographer John Denny Ashley and artist Robert Morgan, Pagan Babies has at long last emerged as a vibrant witness to a particular moment in American history, a time when sexual revolution and gay liberation manifested even in small Southern towns like Lexington, Kentucky.
Pagan Babies, the name adopted by Morgan and his band of guerrilla-style street artists, was a natural moniker for this collection, which draws inspiration from art-house movies, Greek mythology, Ovid, Shakespeare, the decadence of Weimar Berlin, punk rock, the Pre-Raphaelites, David Bowie, and—above all—the expressive and ingenious realm of queer Kentucky.
In Robert Morgan, John Denny Ashley found his archetypal sexual outlaw, and in Ashley, Morgan discovered an artistic collaborator worthy of documenting the free-spirited, sexually adventurous rebels of the American South. Together, they brought forth a collective work that serves as a bracing testament to Morgan’s baroque imagination and Ashley’s talent for breathing life into his vision.
The result is this book. At last.
The publication of Pagan Babies will occur in tandem with an exhibition of the same title at Institute 193, September 14-November 4, 2023.
We are grateful to the John Burton Harter Foundation for their generous support of this publication and exhibit.
Description: 116 pages with 55 illustrations
Cloth cover with jacket, 12”x12”
Publisher: Faulkner Morgan Archive, Inc.