mardi 17 avril 2012


Ira Cohen - (February 3, 1935 – April 25, 2011) poet, publisher, photographer and filmmaker

“I’d like to say something more perfect about Vali, that would actually shed light on her beauty and how
important she is to me. She’s really a great artist, and she’s always followed her own star, which is to me
the most important thing. Especially when you’re talking about authenticity, a word which doesn’t have a
lot of play in the art world. For me Vali is both a great artist and a great person, absolutely unique. Anyone
who has ever seen her or knows her can tell that. But she herself is her greatest work of art. I never really
saw her when she was drawing, although I have a tiny doodle she made on an envelope and gave me
which I put in a little frame.”
— Ira Cohen

Ira Cohen - (February 3, 1935 – April 25, 2011)
poet, publisher, photographer and filmmaker.

Vali and Ira Cohen, photo by Carol Beckwith 1979

“Perhaps the Armenian carving elephants
on a human hair between heartbeats
can tell you better why you were born
at midday during a storm

or what the Moroccan is thinking
in the asylum
Perhaps he can tell you why the best
sailors can’t swim or how to freeze

two perfect tears on a Chinese face
Perhaps the fox holding an egg
in her mouth can tell you better
how red conquered the rain
or how the blue line curves

around the nipple & I am sure
that the hound knows better

the meaning of the maidenhair fern
or the secrets of lavender under pillows
But only the harpooned whale
can tell you as he turns, rising

to the sun

how much he hates your blue green eyes,
how much a whale’s heart weighs

when it is finally undone.

— Ira Cohen, poem for Vali Myers

Allen Ginsberg, Life Mask

“Part of Ira Cohen’s Bandaged Poets series, which first began when Ira met his second wife Caroline
Gosselin in Amsterdam in the late 1970s. Gosselin had been making ‘life masks’ and Ira began
photographing the process of bandaging all the noted poets that crossed their path. Cohen had originally
published Ginsberg in Gnaoua in 1964. Cohen would later wryly comment that Allen Ginsberg made sure
New York City wasn’t big enough for two bearded Jewish poets”

Ira Cohen - Bom Shankar, an ascetic of the Aghori sect

IRA COHEN part 1

IRA COHEN part 2

William S Burroughs in Cohen’s New York loft, also part of his Mylar Chamber series.
Cohen met Burroughs in Tangier, Morocco in the early 1960s,
where he published Burroughs in his Gnaoua magazine.

From The Mylar Chamber series, late 60s
Jimi Hendrix by photographer Ira Cohen
Vali and Ching Ho Cheng , New York City, 1970. Photo by Ira Cohen

Jimi Hendrix by photographer Ira Cohen

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