While going through a box of old photos just now I came across a misplaced postcard which very nearly had me in tears. It was from a friend of mine who died some years back. He was a wonderful guy and I miss him terribly. The saddest thing about coming upon this card for me is the fact that I didn’t just forget about it… no, I can’t even remember ever receiving it. I can’t remember him handing it to me, which he surely did, probably while sidled up next to me at the Library Bar on Avenue A and 1st street. He almost never mailed me anything, preferring instead to just hand over his missives face-to-face. When I pulled it from the box it was like I only just received it… from a lifetime and a trillion miles away. For the benefit of those of you who knew him I’m posting it here. Without doubt you’ll know who it was from instantly.
I bought this at Chelsea Fleamarkets for twenty-five cents. I can’t help but wonder that if maybe Karen had scanned it into her computer and applied a decent black border around, perhaps I would suddenly consider it art. Images like these are ubiquitous in Art; we all like to think that we are somehow profound because we appreciate images such as this one. We look at this photograph and we think, “That’s someone’s great grandmother” and we yearn for the identities of these people. And we yearn for our own identities as well, because we have no sense of family in the way that our grandparents do. And so we yell everyone that it has aesthetic value because we don’t even know who we are, and then we blame them for not understanding our Art. We subject the entire world to our idiosyncratic insecurities and then we think we are somehow deeper when they don’t get it.
“The sweetness of sorrow and love. To be smiled at by her in the car. That was the most beautiful thing of all. Always the longing to die & yet keeping oneself alive; this alone is love.” -Kafka.