Sunday, January 24, 2010

Patti Smith Looks Back

As soon as I heard Patti Smith discussing her memoir of her years with Robert Mapplethorpe, I went online and ordered it. Over the past two days, it has provided a perfect time-travel adventure into a period of great creativity and change in American culture. It was also an era of self-destruction and major artistic losses.

“Just Kids” lays it all bare. Smith has a very engaging way of telling the story of her time with Mapplethorpe, a tale of true love and mutual support as the young artists found their creative paths. There are plenty of shocking and even sordid details, but Smith sets forth the facts without judging anyone.

Those who survived the times are now some of our revered icons in music and the arts. I thank Patti Smith for this chronicle and especially for the portrayal of a relationship that transcended the hardships and ugly aspects of the period.



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