TX: incised at upper part of reverse <TO KIMON / S.CASHWAN / 35>, inscribed at lower part of reverse with felt pen <6/11/25>, inscribed at lower part of reverse with ballpoint pen <23 year / 4 month / 23 days>, incised at lower part of reverse <KIMON>
CM: Kimon Friar (1911-1993) had his Life-Mask made - as inscribed at its rear - at the age of "23 years / 4 months / 23 days". Friar was imitating the poet John Keats (1795-1821) , who was at about the same age when he had his own Life-Mask made by his artist friend Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846). Sitting on the window-sill in Friar's room in Amherst, Life-Mask was a reminder of his early, obsessive identification with Keats. In high school in Chicago, where he grew up speaking Greek, Friar had a transformative experience reading Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819). The poem linked the art of Friar's native Greek culture to poetry of great power in the language of his new country. Friar recalled: "Suddenly I realized how beautiful English was". Keats' poem pointed Friar in the direction of a literary career. Friar saw that literature was, for Keats, a way of redeeming a socially precarious life, and he understood that it could be the same thing for him. In time, it would lead him out of the Chicago slums and to Greece as an international man of letters.
[Megakles Rogakos 10/2004]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens