Unbuttoned: Gay Life in the Santa Fe Arts Scene

Where gays live, creativity thrives! For over 100 years, the Santa Fe/Taos region of Northern New Mexico has nurtured a rich gay culture, yet most people have no idea what an enormous impact lesbians and gay men play, and have played, in shaping the art and cultural mecca of the American Southwest. Cooper’s unbridled memoir takes you behind adobe walls and plunges you into the queer world that was Santa Fe artistic life in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. It’s packed with LGBT history, camp humor, fascinating anecdotes, 80 photographs, and the author’s personal encounters with such cultural icons as Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Norman Rockwell, Buckminster Fuller, Tennessee Williams, Shirley MacLaine, and Elizabeth Taylor. But the heart of Cooper’s story spotlights the regional painters, potters, writers, poets, photographers, designers, tastemakers, and opera people he’s known and loved for 40 years. Cooper gives voice to a dynamic LGBT community that helps make “the City Different” truly different.

Cooper’s artwork has been exhibited in major galleries and private and corporate collections. His work in graphic design includes book and record album covers, opera posters, wool rugs, greeting cards and postage stamps.