A new catalogue of Kerouac’s paintings is crucial in studying the overlap in his investment in writing and painting.
PARIS — Though almost entirely lacking a female presence — artist Jay DeFeo and poet Diane Di Prima being the exceptions that prove the rule — the Centre Pompidou’s airily laid out retrospective of the Beat Generation is otherwise flawless.
From 1953 to 1963 — a period that corresponds with the publication of his most celebrated works — Allen Ginsberg snapped photographs of his cohort of soon-to-be famous friends. These shots weren’t intended for exhibition; they were mementos, thrown in the back of a drawer. He unearthed them two decades later and had copies made, in the borders of which he scrawled relevant details in felt-tip pen. It is these photographs, amended with shots from the ’80s and ’90s, that are on display at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.
I had no idea renowned beat poet Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) was an avid amateur photographer. A current exhibition of his black and white snapshots are on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and they are annotated by Ginsberg himself, who rediscovered his early photos (made between 1953 and 1963) in the 1980s.