BEN BERLOW . . deserves a lot of credit for taking care of Dan’s estate so well.

Ben, legally designated by Dan Asher to be his executor . . published a remarkable interview with Dan – that took place, just a month or so before Dan finally lost the cancer battle. Dan died April 23, 2010.

any interview that starts off . .
“Before I knew Dan, I knew him as the craziest guy at the 10th Street Baths” – has got to be both engaging, and . . ‘conjuring’ !!

the strangest thing for me in the interview – was when he mentions the CAKE SHOP incident. that actually was the last time I saw Dan, the night he had that big dust-up at CAKE SHOP and he had got kicked, literally – to the curb outside. me and my daughter Kate just happened by out of the blue !!
(“a bunch of Asperger’s people have a telepathy . . !!”)
DAN was a cursin’, screamin’ and yellin’ at full tilt . . he was in a real rant and could not be consoled, for love or money.
I was seriously concerned the cops were gonna roll up any second, and take him away. we even offered to take him out for dinner, nada. in fact he got very abusive & hurtful towards us – just for caring !!
it was sad for me, to have my twenty-something daughter who had known Dan her whole life – treated like this. esp as she was going to foot the dinner, I was broke.
we just reached a point where we could not take it anymore – and left him to his howling at the gods, alone. I guess, just by a fluke, or was it telepathy . . I had caught Dan at his lowest point.
I had certainly caught him at his highest – when he had just inherited a big, big pile of money, and was making those iceberg photos. $400 sushi lunches – here we come !!
I guess there’s some kind of poetry, symmetry – in that. seeing how that Cake Shop night stood out so vividly . . in own mind.

the part in the interview that I loved the best though, was when Dan talks about his love of other people’s stories !!
“I would hang out at Burrough’s with Patti Smith in the 70s, before he hung out with James Grauerholz. We’d all tell stories and have a wonderful time.”
Dan also relates how he loves “humor”, and people with a sense of humor.
I think that’s what Dan loved best about me, besides my ability to archive and organize his place during it’s heyday, beyond being what he concluded was a fellow, high-functioning ‘autistic’ . . beyond my art skills and art smarts – was my sense of humor.
Dan came alive for me – in this post, the eternal . . unbroken circle.

DAN ASHER, ‘Untitled’, 1980s, pastel on paper. 14 x 11 in.


BEN BERLOW is a NYC-based artist, and executor of the DAN ASHER ESTATE.
Ben works a day job as registrar at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea.
he is married, and recently became father to a beautiful young daughter.
all of these traits play into why Ben is doing such a good job at keeping the flame alive – for Dan, for which his friends thank him – very much.

I’m thinking Ben became for Dan – the son, he never had.