Actress Patti Astor, who was a co-founder of Fun Gallery, has died at the age of 74

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Patti Astor, who was a co-founder of Fun Gallery and actress, has died at the age of 74

Actress Patti Astor, who was a cofounder of Fun Gallery in New York, has died at the age of 74. The death was announced on her Instagram page which read: “Patti Astor (1950-2024: A Cultural icon of Downton New York.

“Patti Astor, the legendary actress, artist and cultural pioneer of New York’s downtown art scene, has died. She leaves behind a legacy that forever transformed the landscape of art, film and hip-hop culture. She was 74 years old. 

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The tribute goes on to say that “Patti Astor’s passing marks the end of an era, but her legacy will continue to reverberate through the streets of New York City and beyond. She will be remembered only for her artistic achievements but also for her indomitable spirit and enduring impact on the cultural landscape of our world.

“In the words of Patti Astor herself, “FUN is my weapon of choice.”

Patti Astor was born in Ohio, USA, in 1950 and starred as Virginia in the hip-hop film ‘Wild Style.’ According to the tribute posted on her Instagram page, it was “her portrayal of a reporter covering graffiti artists helped capture the raw essence of urban culture and solidified her status as an icon of the downtown scene.”

Although Patti’s parents were both physicians, it was due to her father being a film lover that led her to pursue a career in acting. Her name when she was born was Patricia Titchener but she took on the pseudonym Patti Astor when she moved to New York in 1968 to become an actress. 

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She decided to create Fun Gallery in New York, alongside Bill Stelling in 1981. According to ARTnews, Astor’s Fun Gallery was “a scrappy space in the East Village with a much different edict from many New York galleries at the time.” She also revealed in an interview that “It was white wine, white walls, white people; the art world was closed off and boring.” Patti Astor also revealed that “The success of the FUN Gallery was to open up the art world to everybody.”

As well as the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Jane Dickson showing there, the gallery featured graffiti artists such as Futura, Lee Quiñones, Fab 5 Freddy, L.A. II, and Dondi White.

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