Ryan Larkin 1943-2007
Terrible news about Ryan Larkin. He treated himself very badly in the later part of his life, but made some beautiful films earlier on. I guess that's what matters.
I had a complex relationship with him. He used to shelter in the used bookstore I worked in during the 90s. More often drunk or messed up than otherwise. He'd brag to me about eating cat food and called me his friend, though I didn't feel like it, ushering him out of the store at closing time. He did a drawing for someone while I was there. It was a circle, reiterated until it almost went through the paper. He used to be a brilliant artist, but as Balzac said about an artist in similar straits, "he draws in circles, he is lost." (I think it was Balzac. I can't find the citation.)
I was happy that he got rediscovered for that documentary, and even did a few animations for MTV before the end. Still, he did what he enjoyed, even though it was killing him. He was one of those people who was only happy, or could only relax, when he was drunk or high. Art couldn't save him. It started to, towards the end, but that was too late.
There will be a memorial get-together for him at the Copacabana Bar, probably his real hangout, Sunday Feb 18, at 2 pm.