Wednesday 16 April 2014

Just Kids

Yesterday I finished reading Patti Smith's "Just Kids", her story (mostly) of the relationship between her and artist Robert Mapplethorpe and their early time together in New York. Smith's writing is beautiful and the love with which it is written is so pure. Of course, I was bawling my eyes out at the end, knowing the inevitable devastation at the death of Mapplethorpe.

I had the great fortune to see an exhibition of Mapplethorpe's flowers on my second trip to New York in 1981. I was obsessed with yellow tulips at the time myself and he photographed them beautifully. I love his photos of flowers. Here is Calla Lily from 1984:

And Poppy from 1988:

And a portrait of Patti Smith from 1986:

I am always interested in finding new things by Patti Smith -- she is a very generous artist (poet, painter, musician). Here she shares some advice for writers given to her by William Burroughs. And here she is performing a wonderful tribute to Virginia Woolf.

Before xmas I came across a review of and link to the film Patti Smith: Dream of Life by Steven Sebring in Brainpickings and finally had time to see the film which was ten years in the making. The review and film can be accessed here. It is a wonderful and insightful 2007 documentary which also includes older footage. A joy to watch.

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