Muses & Self: Photographs by Allen Ginsberg opened at The Fahey/Klein Gallery on August 10, 2023. This exhibition runs through September 23, 2023.

“The poignancy of a photograph comes from looking back to a fleeting moment in a floating world.” – Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg Fahey/Klein

This exhibition of Ginsberg’s personal photographs at Fahey/Klein balances our understanding of the public, outspoken poet and most prominent figure of the Beat Generation. At his core, Allen Ginsberg was a witness and chronicler of the world. His profound admiration for the beauty of the vernacular, and intense observation guided his photography and poetry. The photographs included in this exhibition are joyful, often tender, sometimes profound while also humorous – and capture Ginsberg’s numerous meaningful relationships.

Ginsberg had two distinct photographic periods, from the early 1950s into the 1960s and then the 1980s until his death in 1997. Ginsberg initially picked up a used Kodak Retina camera to take snapshots of the playful nature of his now-famous friends, including writers Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, and Neal Cassady. Ginsberg lost this beloved camera, and then his photographic tendencies went dormant. Until twenty years later, when his rediscovered negatives and prints ignited his second dalliance with photography. With encouragement from photographers Robert Frank and Bernice Abbott, Ginsberg invested in better photographic equipment. Then he made new portraits of longtime friends and new acquaintances. These included Francesco Clemente, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Toni Morrison, and Patti Smith.

Allen Ginsberg Fahey Klein

Allen Ginsberg, Calcutta Self Portrait with Peter Orlovsky, October 20, 1962 © Allen Ginsberg, courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles

A Picture of My Mind

In conjunction with the exhibition of photographs taken by Allen Ginsberg, the Fahey/Klein Gallery will also host a preview of A Picture of My Mind: Poems Written by Allen Ginsberg’s Photographs. This collection of poems is generated by an AI-powered version of Ginsberg’s own text. The process is developed in collaboration with poetry collective theVERSEverse. TheVERSEverse member Ross Goodwin, a pioneering code poet whose “” (2018) turns digital image data into text. Thus A Picture of My Mind presents a dialogue between Ginsberg’s portraiture and poetry, This iss supported by the Allen Ginsberg Estate and the Tezos Foundation. 

“My poetry has always been a picture of my mind moving.” – Allen Ginsberg, Illuminated Poems

An AI-powered camera to “read” a selection of Ginsberg photographs on view during the exhibition. It will translate his iconic vision of American counterculture into poetic responses.  The resulting poems illuminate their companion photographs, transcending obvious interpretations of this towering literary figure to gaze more deeply into his watchful eye, and reveal the subtler echoes of his enduring voice. Just as Ginsberg innovated with automated writing techniques and popular technologies, this collection of AI generated poems taps the contemporary linguistic avant-garde to engage ritualistically, intuitively, and meaningfully with Ginsberg’s visual and poetic vernaculars.

About Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was born in Newark, New Jersey. He emerged as a prominent voice in the countercultural movement of the 1950s and 1960s. His most famous work, “Howl,” a powerful and controversial poem that challenged societal conventions and explored themes of sexuality, spirituality, and political dissent, became a touchstone for a generation seeking liberation and authenticity. Ginsberg’s relentless pursuit of personal and artistic freedom made him an iconic figure, and his activism and advocacy for social justice, including his involvement in anti-war and gay rights movements, further solidified his place in American literary and cultural history. Through his groundbreaking poetry and fearless exploration of taboo subjects, Ginsberg remains an enduring symbol of artistic rebellion and the search for individual and collective enlightenment.

About theVERSEverse

TheVERSEverse was founded in late 2021 by the writers Ana Maria Caballero, Kalen Iwamoto and Sasha Stiles. It is a hybrid literary gallery and collective where poem = work of art. Poems and projects curated by theVERSEverse have traveled around the world as well as in the metaverse. They have garnered international acclaim and the support of visionary cultural figures and art institutions. Learn more at

August 10, 2023 – September 23, 2023

What:  Muses & Self: Photographs by Allen Ginsberg
Where: The Fahey/Klein Gallery, 148 North La Brea Ave., LA 90036
When: Running through September 23, 2023