just in case you live under a rock, or are too young to know . . or most likely, just plain eschew mainstream media ?!!
art world character, painter, poet, and influential mover and groover, i.e. ‘art junkie’,
RENE RICARD . . died at the start of this month.

there is an excellent obit in the NEW YORK TIMES, penned by BRUCE WEBER . . that captures the loss, and all the poetry . . of the proud, colorful, and, yes even . . legendary era that RENE strode through.
the article seems to state that Rene coined the phrase . . ‘RADIANT CHILD’ . . for Jean Michel.
in which case, for me, that’s reason enough to mourn his passing and salute his singular art ‘eye’ . . the poetry. and his lyrical, narrative . . painting.
very information-based, bye the way.

in fact . . this obit, is really a nice and very telling ‘slice’ of how things work in NYC, the movers and groovers, the players – the ‘art junkies’ who break the art down, and set up the stars.
the super fans, the real power brokers, the king makers. oh . . yeah !!

I crossed paths many, many times with RENE since arriving on the island in summer 1981 or was it, 82. but we were not friends. he had already drawn his close circle of friends around him, and he was jealous, petty, and super territorial, and competitive, and aren’t we all . .
but, he was also bitchy in that super queen gay way. I mean all the power to him, he had a hard life . . but, that’s the truth. he also liked really girlie girls in his entourage – if there were to be any girls at all. I’m talking about the early club days, and that was not me, tomboy to the core . . clueless. guileless. that was me. he liked girls in towering, even crystal heels.
I marched around in . . work boots. I was super super shy, all friggin radar . . and no way to express it. borderline gifted, but slightly autistic – in a nutshell, you get the picture.

cut to the truth . .
well o.k. we had a run-in right off the bat. I went to the first KEITH HARING opening at FUN GALLERY, and all my pals, well Simon and his pals (!!) went in, and then Rene slammed the door in my face and said . . “no more”.
whoa . . do not underestimate the inner power of a fellow, natural born art junkie. even if they look . . clueless.
I definite pushed that door open, and entered, but I was mad.
lo and behold, the very next weekend I’m in line to enter some hot party at MARY BOONE’S gallery when it was downtown on West Broadway, and who the f . . . is behind me ?
yep. Rene.
damn if I didn’t slam that huge, heavy 2 ton plate glass door right in his goddamn face, and . . hard. It was sheer instinct, no thinking. and, looking back: I’m friggin lucky I didn’t break his nose.
after that we maintained a healthy respect for each other and always checked each other out, but definite stayed 10 feet away !!

years later . . like about 20 !!
you can see, in this photo I caught of him, the respect we had for each other.
I was only mad that he had shut me out.
and, as for him ? what’s NOT to like . . about the now, very influential, and trend-calling . . event photographer for artnet ?!!!!!!


the poignant poetry of . . ships that pass in the dark, or what ?

and, p.s. yes. I do consider this one of my best shots. come on, look at his expression, those huge white shades !! and damn, if there isn’t a ‘light’ source, a light refection, a ‘twinkle’ in both . . lenses !!
perfecto mundo, if I don’t say so – myself.

the original artnet report, edited by WALTER ROBINSON . . was titled, by him as: ‘Goodbye to Summer 2003 and the Shining Stars of the NY Artworld’ . . so it’s nice for someone who was initially dissed by Rene, and who then . . in return slammed a door in his face . . to be able to google him, and see a great photo of him at what was surely a high point in his life, posted under my name . . and see that, thanks to that photo . . he got branded as a “shining star”.
a recognition, he surely deserved. and most likely very much enjoyed at the moment it posted.

it’s these characters who make the art scene, there is no other way to put it.

life, in the fast lane . . sure is funnie.

that summer 2003 artnet report also caught a few other art world super stars, and even some ‘baby’ super stars . . in the making:
for starters, there’s some chick . . named EMILY in that notorious anti-Bush, KAYROCK T-Shirt from the ‘HUNDRED and ONE T SHIRT’ . . show !!

then, check out: CLAIRE DANES, P.S.3 grad (!!) . . on the streets of SOHO, and . . KARA WALKER !!

there’s an ALFREDO MARTINEZ ‘HUNGER STRIKE’ T SHIRT, it’s printed with a drawing smuggled out of prison. something about a little art fraud caper. haha. Alfredo ran that big ‘gun shooting gallery’ . . in ‘QUIET’.

moving on, up pops – the very first published photo of JOE BRADLEY, with his band CHEESEBURGER, MISAKI KAWAII, MICHAEL WILLIAMS, and DEVENDRA BANHART.

not a bad haul for . . a severely under-estimated, socially clueless, tomboy chick on the scene, when the big party glammazones ruled, & the mucho serious art critics & ‘reviewers’ of the NEW YORK TIMES and ARTFORUM, thought . . they reigned !!

like I said, life is funnie – in the fast lane.
I prob won’t even get . . an obit – when I die.
I so . . don’t get it. I run this huge website and catch all these guys, and make all the calls and set things into motion, just like Rene, and I’m ‘volatile’ too (!!) though in a different manner, and he at least got some real mainstream ‘love’ . . . and art exhibits.
I have yet to see one, ONE !! of my photographs on a gallery wall.
I dunno, man.
I just don’t know. I know so many things, and I just don’t . . get that.
I guess there is a price to pay for being rock solid . . hardcore & indie to the very last drop ?
New York . . is a really strange place.

see: SUMMER OF 2003 – ARTNET