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for immediate release

Harvey Milk and the San Francisco Scene

May 9 – June 20, 2009

Opening Reception: SATURDAY, May 9, 2009; 7 - 10PM

Artist’s talk and booksigning for Milk: A Pictorial History of Harvey Milk SUNDAY, June 7, 2009; 2 - 4PM. (RSVP to gallery by June 3rd.)

OVERTONES gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibiton in Los Angeles by San Francisco-based photographer DANIEL NICOLETTA. Nicoletta will exhibit photographs from his extensive body of work, including some of his favorite iconic images from his documentation of the vibrant lesbian gay bisexual and transgender civil rights movement, as well as photographs Nicoletta made on the set of the Academy Award-winning film Milk. (written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black)

Daniel Nicoletta (portrayed by Lucas Grabeel in Gus Van Sant’s Milk), was a young protégé of civil rights hero Harvey Milk (portrayed in the film by Academy Award winner Sean Penn). In 1975, at age 19, Nicoletta was hired to work in Milk’s camera store in the heart of the burgeoning gay neighborhood in San Francisco’s Castro district. Nicoletta documented those years, recording Milk’s ascent as one of the first openly gay elected officials in the world. After Milk’s assassination in 1978 catapulted Milk to the status of hero and martyr of the gay civil rights movement, Nicoletta remained a key point person for Milk-related research, and continued to work alongside Milk’s lover Scott Smith (portrayed in Milk by Independent Spirit Award winner James Franco), on Milk-connected projects, including Rob Epstein’s Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk. Smith died of AIDS in 1995, but Nicoletta and Milk’s friends and colleagues continued to tend to his legacy, which evolved into personally advising and assisting Van Sant and Black during development and production of Milk.

For Nicoletta’s (1996) solo exhibition at Levi’s Plaza in San Francisco, which was sponsored by The Levi’s Strauss Gay and Lesbian Employees Association, San Francisco Examiner art critic David Bonetti wrote: “Inevitably it is Nicoletta's photographs from the past that are most haunting: Sylvester on the stage at the Trocadero Dance Club. Hibiscus, co-founder of the Cockettes… Harvey Milk on stage with Jose Sarria, the drag performer who helped launch the modern gay liberation movement in San Francisco by simply insisting on his rights as a citizen (and running for supervisor)…. And lots of ordinary people trying to create a life that made sense to themselves, if not the people back in Kansas. It was a different world then. San Francisco is lucky that Nicoletta has been there with his camera recording it through all of its changes.”

OVERTONES gallery is proud to take part in promoting and supporting the LGBT civil rights movement with this extraordinary opportunity to share the work of DANIEL NICOLETTA. It is our hope that the power of Nicoletta’s imagery and the humanness of the stories his images tell will aid in bringing about a world where equality is enjoyed by all.

+ For additional information and images please contact Elizabeta Betinski at word@overtonesgallery.com OVERTONES gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 pm, or by appointment