Richard Avedon’s Murals and Portraits show opens today at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. The image above is one of the murals. The exhibition has been developed in collaboration with the Richard Avedon Foundation and is drawn from their extensive collection. There are four murals on display (the (extended) Ginsberg family, the Chicago Seven, Andy Warhol, alongside several of the players and participants at the legendary Factory, and the Mission Council, a group of military and government officials who governed the US participation in the Vietnam War). This is the first time all four murals will have been exhibited together. Also on display are iconic Avedon portraits (like this one of a famously naked Allen and Peter Orlovsky, clutching each other lovingly, in shame-free embrace).
Allen’s interview with William Burroughs in the magazine Sensitive Skin that we mentioned here, in this space, a couple of weeks back, has now been made available on-line and may be freely accessed here. David Ulin in the L.A. Times is reminded of the ubiquitousness of Burroughs as an interview subject. More about Burroughs from an earlier posting – and even more about him here.
Allen as a “punk-rocker” – Here’s two recollections. Firstly Debra Devi, sometime East Villager and member of the anarcho-political band, The False Prophets – “..Sometimes we backed up Allen as “The Ginsburgers”, playing his poetry/songs. He would yell, “Louder!, Faster!”….I remember Allen climbing on top of his rickety kitchen table in his apartment to take pictures of the band and thinking he was going to fall and break his neck and it would be our fault for killing one of America’s greatest poets!..”
– and Marc Olmsted on the West Coast, at Mabuhay Gardens, with his “new wave” band, The Job – “I worried that Gregory (Corso – present on the occasion) might do anything, wander on stage, disrupt the band, etc. Allen agreed this could very well happen with Gregory, but (that) it would be alright. I only half-got this “crazy wisdom” teaching..”
Jonah Raskin’s interview with Beat scholar Gerald Nicosia is available here on the Rag Blog and is well worth reading. Raskin: “If they were alive today..the major figures of the Beat Generation..what do you think they’ll be doing now ? – Nicosia: Kerouac would be writing. Cassady would be taking viagra and chasing women. Ginsberg would be teaching. Burroughs would be taking his daily methadone and planning his next novel. They were driven people, on a mission, and only death could stop them”.
Non-stop driving, that reminds us, Walter Salles’ On The Road movie‘s Cannes grand opening gets ever-closer. Keep abreast of it, and all other Ginsberg-Beat-related news, here.