Like so many things, my icons depend on my mood and there cannot be just one. The following is probably my best effort at summing up what an icon is for me.

He needs no introduction... MJ

 

Watching Michael Jordan play basketball, coming up through his career from UNC to the unforgettable end to the NBA finals against the Utah Jazz in 1997, was one of the greatest gifts. Even his less than glorious forays into baseball and his heartbreaking return to the NBA can do little to diminish the legend that is Michael. At one point during the 1996 Olympic games in Barcelona he was declared the most recognized face in world. He took sports and glory to new heights for me and I will never forget that last shot in Game 6; down by one, he stole the ball clean from Karl Malone and then took it up the floor faking Byron Russell so badly you almost felt bad for him and drained a perfect jumpshot to win it all… for a sixth time.

Annie.

Annie Leibowitz is the Master. Her work has caprured the absolute essence of so many icons that she has become one herself. There are so many of her photos that on their own could be a response to this post… think John and Yoko in bed, her collection of photographs of women for the NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/library/photos/leibovitz/bourgeois.html or almost any issue of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone or Vogue. Her work gives us the chance to see our world and creates within us the sense of ‘icon’.

HST. My hero.

Dr. Thompson is one of my heroes… He lived a life that, while reckless and wild, was poetic, brilliant and observant. The way that HST saw the world made me think about things in a critical but inspired way. Through his cynicism he gave me hope and I find that a magically ironic combination. [I wrote my own ode to him the day after he ended his days in Feb 2005… it is on my myspace page, www.myspace.com/sweet_and_lowdown] I use his book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail to teach my high school seniors about presidential elections and I have yet to find a better narrative, dissection or analysis of the American political system that is (still) so timely and accurate.

 

Boticelli's Venus.

Botticelli’s Venus. Everything here is as it should be and I never tire of looking at this painting. The first time I saw it in the Uffizi in Florence I was mesmerized by the size, scope and detail… The place and time of the painting are like the perfect dream. But more than that, it is Venus herself and how she possesses an act (her birth) to such a degree that it is not happening to her… it is because of her. She is beautiful and rare and complete. A worthy endeavor.

So, those are my icons. To aspire to such greatness would be an honor.

 

 

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