Clayton’s Corner: Celebrating Taylor Mead

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 at 10:16 am by

In this week’s installment of Clayton’s Corner, the neighborhood chronicler shares his snapshots from the Taylor Mead art opening at the Churner and Churner Gallery on Tenth Avenue. Mead was part of Andy Warhol’s inner circle and starred in several of his underground films, including Tarzan and Jane Regained.

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Bob Heide, Jeremiah Newton, Taylor Mead

As it happens, Patterson recently penned a piece for The Villager about his relationship to the onetime Warhol superstar, excerpts of which are reproduced here:

I first met Taylor Mead at the Limelight nightclub in 1986.

The Ludlow St. block my friend Taylor lives on, pre-gentrification, was a dangerous war zone run by a crew called the Ludlow Boys. The Ludlow Boys sold a brand of heroin called Hell Raiser. The block was treacherous for those who had no business being there. But the Boys were all local and Taylor was a known and loved member of the community. One quality that made him an endearing neighborhood figure was his self-proclaimed duty to feed the local feral cats. Taylor was that hardly visible shadowy figure, seen late in the night, dropping off open cans of cat food under fences and in vacant lots.

On numerous occasions I would photograph Taylor when I would see him on the street, or in the JAE Bodega, at 99 Stanton St., buying cat food, or at one of his favorite eating places, Lucien’s Restaurant or the Pink Pony. Lucien and his wife, Phyllis, and Zac, their son, love and adore Taylor. When Taylor comes into one of these two fine-dining establishments they treat him like the Ludlow St. Grand Poo-Bah.

One of the most important videos that Elsa Rensaa, my wife, and I made for Taylor was when his landlord was doing everything in his power, legal and illegal, to evict him from his rent-stabilized apartment. Pre-gentrification it was hard to rent these run-down dumps. Post-gentrification the monthly rent for the tiny, two-room hovel would cost more than a two-week holiday in Spain.

More gallery shots below:

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