BONN.- In 1958, at the age of eighteen, the photographer Larry Fink left his childhood home on Long Island and moved to a one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village. Fink was immediately drawn to New Yorks counterculture, and he soon met a group of artists, writers, and musicians affiliated with a late stage of the Beat Movement.
It was my fate to be aligned with the Beats because of my propensity for drugs, anger, and poetry, writes Larry Fink on his new book The Beats, a collection of previously unpublished photographs from 1958-1958 and edited by powerhouse Books. Since they were second generation, without the same sense of immortal obsession such as the like of Kerouac and Ginsberg, they had a distinct need to be documented. He has written that the group desperately needed a photographer to be with them, to give them gravity, to live within them, record and encode their wary but benighted existence. Fink readily assumed the role. Not long after he arrived in New York, he travelled with the group on a cross-country trip to Houston and Mexico.
Jack Kerouac, one of the leading writers from the first generation, introduced the phrase Beat Generation in 1948 to characterize a perceived underground, anti-conformist youth movement in New York. Allen Ginsbergs poem Howl (1956) soon became the maxim of the Beats. Central elements of Beat culture were a rejection of received standards, use of illegal drugs, alternative sexualities, a rejection of materialism, and the explicit portrayals of the human condition.
After more than 50 years, Larry Fink shares with us his photographs of artists, musicians, poets and painters with whom he lived and travelled based on the principles of the Beat Movement. A time of rupture, freedom and search.
"The day before the day I entered the world of these pictures I was a milk-fed boy of left wing but bourgeois parents in a wholly unique yet unholy America. A boy who wanted to be consequent but was driven by both innocence and blinding anger
This anger got in the way of my ambition, which was placed in me by my mother, to lead the socialist revolution in the USA. Larry Fink