Graham died December 19, 2005, five years ago. His was a mind that was constantly probing; his art was evolving and his skills as a writer wrapping around his experiences in the world of ex-pats in Paris after the War.
Once upon a time, I gathered his amazing writings and photographs, on the old and glorious Geocities.com platform, which has long since disappeared from view. It’s time to re-post a few of his works, not too many, for no doubt his family is planning to publish his work. (Although I have no inside knowledge to share).
He lived in the Beat Hotel at the time that Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso were there. He shared his life and was able to record some of those unique times. His camera kept us in touch with the Beats, while his own vision kept us attuned to landmarks such as the Rue de Coeur (the Beat Hotel), Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and the Cafe scene in Paris.
Graham, I miss you.
Here is one of his most beloved photos: Gregory Corso and the Monks
Graham was a brilliant artist – making masterpiece after masterpiece of collage, composition, and so doing, compiling visual histories, unique and memorable.
I offer a few below:
I met Graham at the 2nd Avenue Deli in NYC back in 2003, (you can read about it here) where we shared stories of early Israel when he was on a kibbutz, and history facts of a world gone mad after WWII with country after country banning Jewish refugees from their borders.
His political acuity was marvelously on track as he savoured every bite of his way-too-caloric gigantic sandwich. As we departed that day, I marvelled at his brilliant memory for detail that I strained to retain. Later on when I wrote down what he’d said, he corrected every detail to ensure accuracy. We parted and I felt like I was saying goodbye to a relative, a dear member of my family.
A few months later he told me he’d been awaiting results from some medical tests and that, sure enough, he was heading into his final phase on the planet. He worked tirelessly to prepare exhibits of his work, for as long as he could.
Long may he be appreciated for his wit, patience and art.
Rest in peace, dear Graham.
Note: All photos created by Graham Seidman belong to the estate of Graham Seidman and cannot be printed for resale or reproduced for personal profit.