(Possible) Cover of the Rolling Stone: Old Beastie Boys Pix

That kid is so pissed.
Some more photos of the Beastie Boys from 1982... never-before-seen:

I remember when I took these photos, which were part of a long session we did for Cooky Puss, in Washington Square Park one late winter day. The boys (and girl) were in costume from playing modified Candyland at Kate’s place, and they had some concept that the park would be like the game board. They wanted pictures of them skipping down the asphalt paths in the park. Eventually one of these skipping shots was used, in silhouette, on the paper center label of the Cooky Puss 12”.

You don't see something boybandish?
I don’t remember if it was my idea or theirs to shoot them looking down through the monkey bars, and on top of a phone booth and in other silly places. But I remember that I was going for a certain Beatles-type cliche: 4 adults staring down through a network of handbars, and I recall vaguely that they did not particularly enjoy this. I had fantasies, somehow, that I was Annie Liebovitz, pushing her subjects a little too far for the sake of that perfect Rolling Stones cover. I was 15 years old.

Which makes it a little weird to be responding to both an editor and a photo editor at Rolling Stone about a possible, actual real life cover image.


(Visit my Flickr if you want to see all my shots of the early Beastie Boys in higher resolution.)

I’m sure talking about my photography seems off-topic for this blog, unless you’ve been reading for a very long time or dredged through the archives (poor you) to read the origin of the blog name. Which is:

Marcel Duchamp did a piece called “Fresh Widow” in 1920. All you really need to know is that it’s a French window. However it’s miniature, it was an open edition and almost a “ready made” except for black leather applied over each window pane so you can’t see through. The piece comes with a command that the leather be polished every day. There’s one in the MoMA (which I grew up with) and one at the Philadelphia Art Institute. It’s perverse in more ways than one; look up interpretations if you’re intrigued.

Duchamp, handsome American living in Paris and mingling with the mostests, has been one of my lifetime idols. Not least of all because late in life he insisted he’d given up art and was only working to play chess (though he was lying about it). He seemed gentlemanly and unsloppy in most every way, and he was always funny and upsetting. My man, right?

I thought, as a newly minted widow, that I might open that toy black window. I thought my hair would fly back in the wind. I thought of what you can see when your eyes are closed, or with the lights out, or when your own light goes out, and I knew there was an exhilarating truth to it.

I wanted to own that, so I took its name.

(The silly “Supa Dupa” part came when I added the Pillsbury Doughboy and Missy Misdemeanor Elliott to the mix. I thought you had to have a fake name in addition to your blog name, some kind of rule.*)

So although I have spoken only of my widowed life and grief and mostly closely related topics, I hope you can see I’ve been leaving stuff out. For various reasons… and this has never been a daily-life-as-it-happens blog, never been totally “the real me,**” never been my place to drop today’s dump. I do enough in social media I don’t feel I can do too much of that anymore, anyway. And I’ve tried to do a “real” blog for my professional life but that hasn’t been too effective because the community work I do with widowed people is the vast majority of the work and where I get most of my credibility.

The full picture of me includes not only today (remarriage and all), not only venting, but also my history as an artist and my future as whatever I end up doing for work tomorrow.

I am an artist at heart… I was raised by artists (wolf artists, apparently) and spent most of my time with artists doing art things. I have abandoned being an artist at least ten times in my life: for my mental health, for an education, for health insurance, for money, for a good marriage. I never went far… each job until the last one had a strong visual component, and my late husband was an artist. I felt close to working by supporting him in his work, for many years.

But it wasn’t the same. Though I’m still at a turning point in my professional life — how long has it been? — Creating and working with images will always be part of my process of understanding the world and my place in it, whatever form my work takes in the next few years. And even if I don’t actually keep MAKING stuff, saying “no” to it over and over again was pretty bad for me.

How can I encourage you to be true to your grief and your truth if I can’t even listen to that obnoxious little punk, my artists’ soul, screeching at me? She sings, lovely, if I listen closer.

So  I’m back to listening a bit more. Which is good, because the phone is freaking ringing about a whole nother set of photos that I took when I was a teenager before I considered health insurance, money, or true love at all.

And I gotta go pick that up.

* I am kind of famous for thinking life has rules for things that are simple and ungoverned.
** Though by now, anyone who cares does know my real name.


The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Great pictures, ESPECIALLY because you were 15.
I use to tour with 'Squeeze' have no idea if you have heard of them, english group, did pretty big venues, infact we did Madison Sq. gdns, thats is big! and lots of little places too. CBGB's etc.

Kim said...



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...