thanks, Ray

The world needs Ray Johnson right now. Ok, at least I do.

Ray is gone, but what he left behind, that part of his art which could survive him, is now more accessible than perhaps ever before.

The very human, even intimate, scale, the intelligence, the child-like innocence and playfulness, the humor and silliness, the perfect lines and impossibly right compositions, the virtually total absence of commerce, the uncompromising commitment, the refusal to remain in two, three or any number of conventional dimensions, the magnificent queerness, the simple beauty, it all remains to both cheer and excite us today.

This past friday I was able to attend a press preview of an exceptional new Ray Johnson film documentary, "How to Draw a Bunny," opening at the Film Forum October 9. I had already been somewhat familiar with his work and the general outlines of his life (they were basically the same thing while he lived), but I left the theater a complete acolyte. If the film was very good as a film, its purpose, further opening Ray's art to a larger world, was really its great unselfish success.

There is currently a show of his work at Feigen Contemporary, his understanding and sort-of long-suffering gallery, but my cold has delayed my visit to West 20th Street.

There is also at least one major book available.



"Chuck Close: When the phone rings, every time, for a split second, I think it may be Ray. It's very sad."

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Published on October 7, 2002 6:58 PM.

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