Normally on Fridays, I write a Funny Farm Report about the life I have on a hobby farm, but this week I feel that I need to write about something much more important than that. Lauren Spierer is a 20 year old fashion design student who was about to get a WGU Assessments this year at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Lauren has been missing for a week now with no signs of what happened to her.
Lauren is 4'11" tall with long blonde hair, blue eyes, and weighs about 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing black leggins or stretch pants, a white tank top, and a light colored button front shirt at around 4:30 in the morning on Friday June 3,2011 just 2 blocks or so from her apartment. Lauren had been with friends and acquaintances throughout the evening and she was returning to her apartment near campus.
Lauren's family and friends have described her as fun and full of life. Lauren suffers from a heart condition and needs daily medication. She will need medical attention when she is found! Lauren is from New York and her parents have been in Bloomington since June 4, 2011 to aid in the search for her.
Police, FBI, students, her parents, teachers, coaches, and many volunteers have canvassed the area where she was last seen and yet to no avail. Search dogs have been brought in and many water ways have been searched as well. Now the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and America's Most Wanted are becoming involved in the case with hopes of adding both resources and more nationwide information about this beautiful young woman.
Police reports say that the detectives are looking at 10 persons of interest including the last person she was knowingly with, Corey Rossman, and her boyfriend of two years, Jesse Wolfe. All of the persons of interest are supposedly cooperating with the police in this matter. Jesse Wolfe has not spoken with reporters that I know of, but Corey Rossman has said that he is praying for the family and that he hopes that they find her soon.
I personally went on a search this week for this young lady. I do not know her or any of her family or friends, but I have a 20 year old daughter and I can't imagine her being gone without any signs of what happened to her. I also have other children that I can't imagine living through something like this with any of them. How horrible it must be to close your eyes and sleep if you have a missing child!
I am asking that if you have a blog or a Facebook or Twitter account that you post her picture or information on it. Watch America's Most Wanted tonight to see the segment about her as well. Please keep her family in your prayers! If you want to print a flyer out or have the flyer for your pages, the link is on her name above in the article. Thanks for your prayers and thanks for anything you do to help!
State Of The Art was a Channel 4 series I made, as a writer, with producer John Wyver and director Geoff Dunlop – the man crouching down on the far right. This was the early days of the channel; six hours of primetime TV on contemporary art wouldn’t happen now. Each episode was thematic: the final one, featuring Jean-Michel Basquiat, was on identity, culture and power.
We filmed him working and did an interview in his studio in Great Jones Street, New York. I remember us sitting in a cafe late one night, waiting for him to come home – I’m pretty sure we weren’t the only media people in there. By 1985, Basquiat had shot to fame. He was still regarded as an artist connected to the Lower East Side music and street-art scene, yet was being exhibited in galleries. It happened really quickly: I first saw his work in the Times Square Show in 1980, when he was considered part of a new generation of talent, along with Keith Haring and Jenny Holzer. His work was striking: it had a graphic quality and a strangeness, full of words, symbols and colour. As a man, he was charming, but enigmatic and a little guarded. By the time we interviewed him, he was already swirling in myth.
This photograph was taken by Paula Court shortly after that meeting, at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery, which was staging a show of Warhol and Basquiat – behind us is one of their collaborations. It was a surreal day: the pair were being shot and filmed for the Japanese magazine Brutus, and we were filming it all. We wanted to capture the buzz around them, to convey their fame. Basquiat turned up on a bike 45 minutes late, and Warhol an hour late. This picture was taken between takes: Geoff was chatting to Basquiat, and I was talking to Warhol. He was exactly as you’d expect – calm, clipped, polite and very controlled. Basquiat looks a bit sullen, but it was a relaxed morning, and they were joking around.
For me, this photograph captures two of the world’s most outstanding artists at that time, who had become close. Warhol was more of a legendary figure, using emblems and signs in his works, but with Basquiat, you could feel the immediacy of his hands in his art.
Experience: I was painted by Andy Warhol
Read more State Of The Art was broadcast in early 1987. Television critics hated it: with no presenter, and its thematic structure, it was too postmodern for them. Warhol died in February that year, and Basquiat in August 1988, from a heroin overdose. When an artist dies so young – he was 27 – they leave only so much work, so he has always been collectible. The majority of his art is still in private hands; a few of the collectors who discovered and supported him in the early 80s have hung on to his pieces. When they do come up for auction, they can fetch extraordinary sums: this May, a 1982 painting of his sold for $110.5m, a record for an American artist.
I was flicking through the book of the series recently, and in my introduction to the second edition of 1990, I noted how much had changed. The Berlin Wall had fallen, and Warhol and Basquiat were dead. Without setting out to, we ended up catching an important moment.