Sep 28

Thinking of Charles Henri Ford

Thinking of Charles Henri Ford on the 15th Anniversary of his Departure


Every year on this day I remember his last days, leading up to his final one in the hospital in New York City. I’ve told many people about the way that Charles continued to make his art even in those very last, fragile days. Collage was always one of his favorite forms of art to make, as everyone who knows of him will remember. He published countless works of collage, showed them in galleries, and published them in books. Some of the greatest collage artists were his friends, in particular Man Ray, who Charles introduced me to on my very first trip to Paris more than forty years ago.
Charles taught me that form of art as well, and for a time I too made collages and saved photos and magazine cuttings to use later. The best collage Charles created was the life that Charles lived. He pasted experiences onto the pages of his life in a way most people never do, and he started doing that at a very young age. He observed everything and everybody. Everything he saw was a little cutting that he could use later in some artistic way. He liked cities and he liked nature, he loved the company of other people and he loved being in places with hardly any people, too. He loved music and poetry and film and theater, and he liked people with a daring spirit. He was not afraid of the world, he embraced it whole and wherever he we went, he brought his notebooks, full of his thoughts, drawings, and ideas.
I think that he would be pleased, all these years after his departure from this world, to see that scholars continue to write about him, and about his art. Galleries still want to show his work, museums are still interested in his films and photographs. People from around the world contact me for permission to reproduce his art as books and articles. I feel privileged and honored to have the stewardship of his work and his archives full of historical treasures. Wherever you are, Charles, you are missed, and forever appreciated.
February 10, 1908 – September 27, 2002
-Indra Tamang

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Aug 12

Remembering Ruth’s Passing, in good company

Remembering Ruth’s Passing, in good company

Painting of Ruth Ford.

With only 365 days to choose for birthday and day of dying, there is a good company for everyone sharing these special days, it would seem. Ruth passed away on August 12th 2009, and the most famous person to share the date of demise is Cleopatra, the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt. I’ve mentioned that one before, and there are of course many more, lots of long lists of people who share the same date of demise, such as the Japanese pop singer Kyu Sakamoto, who sang the song called “Sukiyaki” in the United States. He died in a spectacular plane crash in 1985. In 1988, here in New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat died on August 12th, leaving behind all his paintings. Isaac Singer got a patent for his sewing machine on that date in 1851 which has been used by countless people. Is there a significance to sharing these dates? It’s a mystery, all of it. How can anyone know the answer? For me, this date has a meaningful importance in so many ways. I always think of Ruth on this day. On this day on 2009, my life changed, an era came to an end, and I carry a little bit of Ruth Ford’s influence wherever I go.

Ruth Ford. Photo by Francesco Scavullo

Ruth Ford

July 7th, 1911- August 12th, 2009

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