Andrew Breitbart was a force of nature. A merry prankster, who loved life, lived it passionately; each day to the max. A man who truly was FEARLESS.
When I heard the news on that fateful morning, I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do. It took a few days for reality to set in. He was gone.
It wasn’t until about a week later, while sitting there alongside his family, with so many of his friends, at his memorial service that it came to me. Listening to their stories, one minute laughing, the next filled with tears in my eyes.
I know what I can do…I can make art. Andrew would love that.
I remembered how much he enjoyed the collage that I’d made for him when his book, Righteous Indignation, was first published in the spring of 2011.
Yeah, I’ll make something. And so I set about creating a new piece.
The first thing that I did was to go back to the cover of his book, which I had used in my first collage. I don’t know what Andrew’s thinking was in choosing the photos for the front and back covers–but while it worked for the book, I wanted something different for my piece.
So I ripped them apart. Splicing the front and back covers together. I got lucky. And there he was, in this new image that was pure Breitbart. It had energy, it had passion and most of all, his wicked sense of humor.
I titled it FEARLESS.
At his memorial service, if I heard the word once, I heard it a hundred times. It was perfect for what I had in mind. I would create a series of pieces as a way to honor the memory of my friend.
One of the first things that I did was to steal a page from the book of Shepard Fairey. For a few nights, I took to the streets of Hollywood and plastered his mug with the word FEARLESS just below it on a number of walls and electrical boxes.
Andrew would have laughed his ass off in seeing that. It made me happy too.
Shortly after, I created a few large metal FEARLESS collages with his image tripled. I had a copy of LIFE magazine from 1969 and put it to fine use. Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara and John Cassavetes, three of my favorite actors, would serve as sort of guardian angels. They would look after my friend, with them now on the other side.
Sweet souls. Rest in peace.
And so it happened. Creating art turned out to be a good way for me to cope with the loss of my friend. I also believe, deep down in my heart, somewhere in heaven Breitbart smiles.