Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chelsea Hotel Show

April 1, 2008

Dear Stanley and the Chelsea Hotel,

I first lived there in the early nineteen eighties. Staying for several months at a time. I carried a camera around my neck night and day. It was Stanley always at the desk who started calling me Stieglitz. I really loved that for he did not know my great grandfather was the founder of the NY Camera Club in the 1890s. His studio was just a couple blocks away.

I have thousands of images of the residents at that time.. many of the lobby hang outs there. I was friends with Richard Bernstein who did all the Interview magazine covers..his place was so so cluttered with stuff we worked on several projects together. I photographed Viva’s daughter for her acting. I am friends with the current resident Rene Ricard, he was always so mean to me in the early days. But I believe he always really liked me. He returns my calls and is very pleasant these days. I think he was the most important art critic of the 1980s.

I have to many stories and so many blur together but I will try a couple draft notes.

A wild girl friend at the time, Patrice Hartman locked herself in the bathroom and broke a glass and attempted to commit suicide. I kicked the door open and pulled her out. She ran out and into the lobby and out onto the street with nothing but her underwear. I later found out that was the room Sid murdered Nancy.

My stepfather Ed White was best friends with Jack Kerouac. He was Tim Gray in On The Road. I guess they spent a lot of time there together in the 1950s. And Jack wrote On The Road there. I spent some time with Allen Ginsberg there, I can’t remember whose place it was, and we made a lot of pictures together. That was his thing at the end of his life.

I photographed the artwork of wonderful Nicola L there and the work of John Wells. I spent a lot of time with the painter Robert Hawkins while staying there. I am going to write Robert ask him to remind me who we partied with there. Was it Teri Toye and Patrick Fox? I think it was. And who was the long hair and bearded hippy that spent a lot of time in the egg chair in the lobby? He had giant holes in his earlobes that he would put a rolled up NY Daily newspaper in. So many names have escaped me.

I was lucky to be friends and spend time with Andy Warhol. He never wanted to talk about the Chelsea for some reason. He would always say why are you staying there? its so dirty.
I shot lots of fashion shoots there. Never had to get permission.

Well thank you Chelsea Hotel for great memories thank you dear Stanley and thank you Linda for doing this. You have motivated me now have to start a dig into my contact sheets. I want to find my images of Stanley the man who called me Stieglitz.

Mark Sink

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