Placed by the coffin at José Férez Kuri’s funeral in Père Lachaise cemetery last month were a photograph and a small work of art. The first was of Férez himself, taken at the 80th birthday party of William Burroughs, held in Lawrence, Kansas in 1994. The second was a painting by the artist Kenji Yoshida. Yoshida, an ascetic and happily married ex-kamikaze, devoted his life to peace by making work that mingled the traditions of Japanese and Western art. Burroughs, by contrast, favoured heroin, guns, orgiastic gay sex and cutting up prose with scalpels.That the two men should appear side-by-side says much of Férez, who was the close friend and mentor of both.
Independent: José Férez Kuri: Curator, author and mentor to William Burroughs and Kenji Yoshida