With the passing of the late Rammellzee two years ago those of us who were friends and fans mourned the lost of a truly unique African American artist at the young age of 49. A few days ago I got wind that his wife, devoted long time companion and sole conservator of his entire art collection has passed in a freak accident. Details still pending, it is truly unfortunate and saddening.
Carmela Zagari supported her husband with unflinching commitment and with her passing the estate and the legacy of Rammellzee remains in the balance. She did manage to organize the exhibition at Suzane Geiss Gallery and the most recent at the New York Childrens Museum of the Arts- http://www.cmany.org/event/therammellzeegalaxseum/ (open now until February). It will likely be the last time we get to see a comprehensive exhibition of his works in this manor. Once the art world maggots, lawyers, and hedgers get done with the remains I suspect it will be spread out between NYC and Europe.
Rammellzees greatest fear was about the pariahs of the art industry and Carmela was his last hope to insure his legacy, I hope there were stipulations in place to preserve his work respectfully and with a worthy institution.
I am at a lost for words really, but this I can say on the heels of an important Archiving and Preservation conference I participated in last week, we as artists and a community must learn the ways of preserving our works and insuring its ongoing legacy either through our families or cultural institution for higher learning. We are losing many of the greatest artists of our time too soon and more importantly a direct link to our history.