Brainard is one of those figures—in his art, his writing, and, one gathers, his person—whose primary genius was to give long-sought relief from overbearing works of art, pieces of writing, and people. For their friendliness, their air of openness, their distaste for guile and pretense, Brainard’s productions have a soothing quality; the other “New York School” writers and artists seem almost reverent and self-serious next to him.Now who could possibly make Frank O'Hara seem reverent?! I am going to have to find a copy of I Remember today.
He is better known as an artist: a maker of frisky collages, a painter of exquisite male nudes, an assembler of miniatures. But he wrote beautifully, especially in his iconic connect-the-dots memoir, “I Remember.”
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Frisky collage maker
One of my favorite poets, Dan Chiasson, posts a beautiful appreciation of The Collective Writings of Joe Brainard, recently published by the Library of America, at Page-Turner.