Saturday, March 9, 2013
"Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg" at New York University's Grey Art Gallery provides a visual portrait of the Beat writers through the poet's black-and-white photos. Seeking to catch "certain moments in eternity," Ginsberg's lens was aimed at Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Neal Cassady and himself from 1953 to 1963. Always a peripatetic group, the Beats are shown in the East Village, San Francisco, Tangier, Paris and elsewhere. Ginsberg lost track of these pictures until the 1980s, rediscovered them among his papers, added hand-written captions and started taking more photos. The 1980s set includes portraits of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Keith Haring and Larry Rivers, among others. "Beat Memories" captures the 1950s literary rebels that influenced the 1960s counterculture, and it celebrates the spontaneity, camaraderie and focus on the everyday that characterize Ginsberg's poetry.
“Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg” runs through April 6 at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 100 Washington Square East, NYC; (212) 998-6780, www.nyu.edu/greyart
Review written in memory of Hal Goldman (1954-2010), Beat scholar, blues brother
"Strange now to think of you, gone...
While I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village." - Allen Ginsberg, "Kaddish"