Skip to content

Daniel Cooney Fine Art celebrates Pride Month and the gallery’s 20th Anniversary with a debut solo exhibition by Phillip Gutman titled “Invasion of the Pines”. Gutman’s first monograph by the same title will also be released in June. The exhibition consists of 27 large-scale black and white and color photographs hand printed by the artist himself. The subjects are glorious drag queens who have made the annual July 4th pilgrimage to Fire Island Pines from Cherry Grove by boat, a ritual that originated as an act of protest on July 4th, 1976, the American Bicentennial.

Fire Island is a narrow barrier island that runs parallel along New York’s Long Island.
In the mid-20th century two communities, Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines, developed as Queer enclaves. People of all stripes came to the hamlets for the summer to live and socialize in a manner that would have been relegated to the closet mere miles away on the mainland.

The ritual known as the Invasion of the Pines began one summer evening in 1976. A resident of Cherry Grove named Teri Warren was denied service at The Blue Whale restaurant, a Fire Island Pines establishment. Teri was denied service because they came to the restaurant dressed in drag.

On July 4th, 1976, a group of Cherry Grove residents, dressed in drag, embarked by boat to protest this injustice by their sister community. Upon arrival in the Fire Island Pines Harbor, the invading queens gathered and Thom Hansen, known by their drag name Panzi, blessed the harbor and libations were served to the invading queens. This was the beginning of a tradition that exists still today, almost fifty years later.

The Invasion is a vestige of our collective queer history, an intergenerational exchange between those who still remember July 4th, 1976, and those who come to the island now to witness and share in this passage, a ritual born out of resistance.

Phillip Gutman moved to New York from Melbourne Florida to attend school in 2005 and graduated from ICP in 2009. A stark departure from his hometown, the first work he created was about the characters and mentors who shaped his point of view, and the muses he found in the queer spaces he frequented.

Phillip’s work focuses on using photography and film to tell stories about identity, Queer history, and its rituals. His practice prioritizes a slower, more decisive, analog approach to the craft of photography. The risk and the ritual of making photographs is intrinsic to his work. 

Daniel Cooney Fine Art opened in May 2004 at 511 West 25th Street in Chelsea with a mission to advance the visibility of emerging artists. Over time we have evolved to include many other groups of under recognized artists. We have proudly worked with numerous LGBTQ+ artists and estates, artists impacted by HIV/AIDS, women artists, political and activist artists, incarcerated artists and exhibited unknown work by highly visible artists. Our 20th year celebration serves as an opportunity to expand and amplify this important work.

Please contact us for more information at 212 255 8158 or See our website at