Given that there’s no a whole lot to say about this, today Eric and I have more of a focus on the fact that today is acknowledged as World AIDS Day. As I’m mentioned in the past, we’ve known people who’ve succumbed to AIDS/HIV, and we have friends who are living with HIV in the present day. We’d just like to talk about some of those who have gone before instead.
I’ve posted Valerie’s paintings in the past, she was Eric’s first wife. Valerie was a visual artist, actress, performer, activist, mystic… earlier this year this article was published at a German site talking specifically about works she did pertaining to her illness. (Just a head’s up, it’s in German. There are online translators it can be run through though.)
International Chrysis was an iconic performer and transgendered woman who Eric encountered as a young boy when he first arrived in NYC. She took him under her wing and was able to keep him out of a modicum of trouble (but only a modicum–it’s Eric). Online Chrysis’s passing is alternately attributed to “liver cancer” (Hep-C) or cancer from silicone seepage, though she was positive as well. That plus the impact she made on my husband as a independently living teenager make me feel it’s important to remember her here. http://www.hotpeachesnyc.com/hotpeachesnyc/Home.html
Bruce was someone Eric encountered in the punk scene in Louisville, KY, where he was being raised by his adoptive family prior to coming here at 13 (I mean Eric. Bruce Witsiepe was already in a band and I have no idea if he was adopted.)
Bruce also created the Circle X album cover you’re seeing in this video, and stuff like that probably led to him doing more art.
Not Brian Keats the drummer (who is missed for other reasons), not Brian Damage Bulowski (another variation of the Young Ones’ landlord), but New York artist Brian Damage, who was a participant in World War 3 Illustrated. I know Eric, Seth, and others I’ve gotten to know through working with World War 3 always have spoken highly of him. Art from his unfinished work, The Curse Of Umbra, appeared in the retrospective at Exit Art a few years back, where I was able to get a photo:
The Curse Of Umbra was a story dealing with the AIDS crisis and government neglect, with metaphoric uses of Egyptian deities and folkloric creatures. It was still a work in progress at the time of his death.