Summer Reading – Patti Smith, Just KidsAugust 28 2012
The late 60’s was the time to seek out independence, art, and music. It was also the beginning of the life long friendship between Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe http://www.mapplethorpe.org. Just Kids is the memoir of their romance and friendship during their formative years as young adults in Brooklyn, New York.
They often chose art supplies over food and adventure over security. It was the years of Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, William Burrows, and Woodstock. Art and literature were her solace; his art and photography. Just Kids documents a time in history like no other. The two of them landed smack in the middle of The Hotel Chelsea and began their immersion into art culture and the ladder of the art world that unfolded in front of them.
photo credit Julia Calfee http://www.flavorwire.com
Patti’s touching story of her friendship with Mapplethorpe is not to be missed. Winner of the National Book Award and a New York Times Best Seller, the memoir is a lovely tribute to her friend and a glimpse into how artists develop themselves and sometimes stumble into their craft by sheer accident.
Smith became a celebrated musician [Her album Horses was ranked as number 44 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all times] http://www.rollingstone.com/ and Mapplethorpe a provocative and very successful photographer before his untimely death of AIDS related causes in 1989. Each of them supported and encouraged one another in developing their paths as artists and in the process, found their true selves.
photo credit: Robert Mapplethorpe http://en.wikipedia.org
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet, it’s the perfect book to languish a beautiful summer day. It’s one of those rare books you never want to end.