Celebrating a man I’m so lucky to have known, Rene Ricard, on his birthday - poet, artist, actor, art critic, partygoer, and bon vivant, he was famous for his ‘wickedness and wit, his astute and perfervid opinions on art and literature, and his commanding conversational skills’.
In 1978 at age 32 he wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed, “I’ve never worked a day in my life. If I did it would probably ruin my career, which at the moment is something of a cross between a butterfly and a lap dog.”
One of Warhol’s superstars, he appeared in several of his films including Chelsea Girls, and The Andy Warhol Story, in which he played the title role.
My memories of Rene involve cigarettes, dollar bills, the film rights to his life story, Stanley, comparing skin tones, asking me if I liked his art, a gifted book, and the exuberance, life, sparkle, and joy he brought with him everywhere he went.
He’ll always be one of my weird Chelsea Hotel role models - his influence is ongoing.
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