In the late 1950s and early 1960s Cohen photographed many of the leading artists and writers that would come to define the so-called New York School of painting, poetry, and performance-from late night conversations at the Cedar Bar to Lower East Side "Happenings." The pictures he made are less an objective documentation than a spirited collaboration with subjects who believed in erasing all boundaries between art and life. Cohen made this photograph while shooting production stills for Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie's Beat-era classic Pull My Daisy, which was based on a scenario by Jack Kerouac (also the narrator) and starred, among others, the poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. The two are seen here conversing between takes-an improvised, impassioned dialogue between friends that was like much of what wound up in the finished film.
Inscription: Signed, inscribed, and dated in pencil on verso BC to BR: "John Cohen // ALAN [sic] GINSBERG G. CORSO PULL MY DAISY 1959 PRINT MID 1960's"; artist's stamp in purple ink, verso BR: "John Cohen // Rd. 1 Tompkins Corners // Putnam Valley, NY 10579"; inscribed in the hand of Deborah Bell above artist's inscription, verso BC: "(Allen (DB) )"
Deborah Bell Gallery
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Portraits: A Century of Photographs," September 10, 2002–January 13, 2003.