“To go from singing a song for your father and then to suddenly be told to take off your shirt… the dread”


New York Times, courtesy of Emma Tarburlini

From Vanity Fair:

Amid the archive’s thousands of letters, pictures, and paraphernalia is a collection of videos made by Rivers in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. Like Andy Warhol, Rivers saw video as a new art form. Unlike Warhol, he used it mainly to explore sexual taboos. In 1976 he had Gwynne, then 11, participate in a film called Growing by baring her breasts before the camera and discussing how she felt about them. He also filmed Gwynne nude in his shower and had her slip topless between the black satin sheets of his bed. A year and a half later, Emma was conscripted, too.

Twice a year for four more years, the daughters submitted to filming sessions, sometimes just with their breasts exposed, sometimes naked, as their father asked them questions about their bodies and budding sexuality. In the early 1980s, Growing was edited, and screen credits were added; Rivers planned to play it in a continuous loop at a show of his paintings. Dissuaded by Clarice, the girls’ mother, from doing that, he put the film and its outtakes on a shelf, to be forgotten by almost

“Crimes of the Art?”, Michael Shnayerson, Vanity Fair