In autumn of 2005, while in L.A., I had an opportunity presented to me that blew my mind. I’d been invited to meet with Joaquin Phoenix and Michael Muller at Joaq’s house. The reason was I had begun writing again after a ten year layoff and through sharing my poems with friends had captured their attention. Why we were meeting was a mystery to me, but Joaquin told me to bring all my poems, so I dusted off the manila envelope I’d been dragging around the state, and off I went with the roughly twenty poems I felt were worthy. What grew out of my reading to them in his living room was an idea I’d secretly wished for, as artists do. Something more powerful than just the printed word, which when written well is powerful enough.
Something visceral. Strong. Somewhat original. And yes, organic.
Immediately Joaquin and Michael started capturing visually what I’d described in spur of the moment photo shoots. Eventually we enlisted others who graciously gave their time to further the project. Robert Downey Jr. in particular. We had a gallery show. We had press. We sold some prints. Then waited for the book deal that almost a decade later has never materialized. So pushing fifty, tired of sitting back watching our baby die, I took matters into my own hands and created a series of prints to be put out to the public.
Rather than bore you with all the details you can read about in this L.A. Times article I will only say that I have the utmost respect for my former collaborators and hope that if they become aware of our idea’s latest incarnation they appreciate the effort I put into keeping it alive.
Leaving one less line on the bucket list.
To view the images available click here: A Colorful Life In Black & White
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