As David Niven was speaking at the 1974 Academy Awards telecast, a long-haired naked man streaked past him. This man was Robert Oppel, who had a brief but colorful career in San Francisco's pan-sexual underground arts world. First as a photographer for underground magazines and a performance artist, then as a gallery owner, Oppel promoted the fusion of sexuality and politics in art too taboo for mainstream outlets. He moved queer art off gay-bar walls and into his pioneering gallery, FeyWay Studios. Oppel was shot to death in his gallery in 1979. Many believed it was not due to the reported drug deal gone wrong but police retaliation for his performance just days before of a mock execution of murderer Dan White, by "Gay Justice."


Robert Oppel