Maxwell’s Work Lives on at MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) recently acquired DEGANZ member Garth Maxwell‘s films Jack Be Nimble and Naughty Little Peeptoe for its film collection. Through the museum’s programme, Garth’s films will be restored, preserved, and programmed in exhibitions, cementing his work in art history.

Jack Be Nimble, a feature about siblings from a broken home and their journys to reunite, received critical acclaim when initially released in 1993, but struggled commercially due to issues with the theatrical release. Yet, the art-house horror has endured with audiences, leading to its selection for MoMA’s Horror: Messaging the Monstrous programme in 2022. The film exhibition series explored themes of gender and sex in the horror genre.

The museum calls the feature “A classic in the canon of gendered horror,” and that,

Maxwell brings an empathy and sense of urgency to his film’s trans-sensitive themes that could not feel more contemporary.

Garth’s experimental documentary Naughty Little Peeptoe, co-directed by Peter Wells, has earned a spot in the collection for its unique origins and subject matter. The 35-minute documentary stemmed from a casual interview with Doug George, a shoe designer and fetishist, while he was battling AIDS. The tell-all, recorded by Garth and collaborator Debra Daley, about Doug’s life and artistic expression through heels developed into a scandalously funny film about language, inspiration, originality, and survival.

MoMA film curator Ron Magliozzi commented,

Naughty Little Peeptoe honors its subject’s fulfilling commitment to fetish and offers witty testimony to the durable, liberating spirit of a queer perspective.

Garth’s film will join the 30,000 films and 1.5 million film stills in MoMA’s collection as part of the museum’s efforts to preserve and celebrate cinematic work and history.

Congratulations, Garth!

Last updated on 28 March 2024