|Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe|
I am currently devouring Patti Smith's 2010 autobiography, Just Kids. The poetic narrative is drenched with 1970's New York rock cool, and vivid anecdotes from the art scene. The book is a beautiful and honest portrayal of Smith's relationship with artist Robert Maplethorpe, and the journey she took through art, music, drugs and personalities when she moved to New York in 1967. It is a portrait of the artists before they reached fame; so full of life and colour and experiences; a work of pure poetry.
The world Smith conveys through the novel is so perfectly complete. Life at Hotel Chelsea, the permanent residence of numerous artists and musicians including Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan; nights spent at Max's with the artistic elite and Andy Warhol's factory crowd; living in squalor in order to sweat over love and art. It is a visceral and romantic tale.
The Polaroid in Robert's hands. The physical act, a jerk of the wrist. The snapping sound when pulling the shot and the anticipation, sixty seconds to see what he got. The immediacy of the process suited him.
|Patti Smith: Just kids | National Book Award Winner 2010|
Through the haze of an old polaroid really knowing somebody: that's what Just Kids reads like.