I've just finished reading an extraordinary book. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the creative process and the evolution of artists. I'm talking about Just Kids, a memoir by Patti Smith focusing on her early life as a young artist finding her feet in New York City and her close relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.
Extraordinary in so many ways. It's hard to put words to it.
I loved many things about this book. But one thing in particular was having a detailed account of how Patti and Robert worked through the beginning years of creative development, the trials, the explorations, the self-doubt, the hunger and poverty, the small steps forward, the struggles, the sudden unexpected opportunities, and the incredible range of characters that they met along the way. All real. All amazing artists.
As well as all this Patti gives a detailed description of her and Robert's life at the infamous Chelsea Hotel. Absolutely fascinating! It's really quite mind blowing to read about this period of history from a great artist who was deeply immersed in it. Patti Smith, you rock! And thank you for writing this book and recording this history for others to read.
I'm now on the pre-order list for the kindle version of Patti's latest book 'Woolgathering'. Am so looking forward to it.
And she writes so beautifully. Which I guess is to be expected from a poet and song writer of her stature. You must, must, must give it a read. Honestly.