Tony Conrad


Tony Conrad was a genius and a beloved friend to so many of us in Buffalo, NY. He tried to teach me how to act on camera during the filming of “Tammy and the Jesuit” (I was the Jesuit) (never finished, never released!). Here is his obituary in the New York Times. Here is his work Outside the Dream Syndicate.

My friend Mike Niman on Facebook wrote,

I first met Tony in 1972 when he was, I believe, a visiting artist teaching a summer class at MediaStudy/Buffalo on Bailey. My brother was a student, and me, a high school sophomore up for a visit and sitting in on the class. Tony spread out a large piece of brown grocery bag grade paper on the wall and proceeded to paint it yellow. When he was done, we watched it dry. Three years later when I was a freshman at UB, I took Tony’s experimental video class. From where I sit and write this, I can turn my head about 30 degrees and see my final class project, a 5 and a half inch heavy reel of SONY video tape, V30H, in its original black box.

Since making it, I’ve never watched or shared it in any other form. Never put it in a machine. Never needed to. The work is complete as its displayed. Tony inspired me to look at Art through an eclectic lens, or no lens. Whenever I met up with Tony over the next four decades, it was always good to see him. I never pictured him dying. But like most of his art, you couldn’t really imagine it until it happened. He is so much a part of the soul of the Buffalo where I choose to spend my life.

NPR’s retrospective is perfect. RIP, Tony.

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