Happy birthday Jan

Posted February 7, 2013 by janfriend
Categories: Uncategorized

Have thought about Jan frequently this year, as always. He’s in our DNA at this point.

This year I wrote an essay about Jan’s music life in New York before moving to Prague, and how his musical experiences may have helped shape his perspective as an artist. This was for the catalog for his art retrospective at DOX Gallery in Prague. Initially I didn’t understand the intellectual seriousness of my assignment; I pictured a bunch of Bohos doing something DIY, like we would have done in the old East Village or Dumbo when they were beautifully barren. So I wrote a very casual, personal essay. Then the gallery came back and said (politely) “No, we want something more substantial” and asked specific questions. I was happy to do it and like what they eventually published in the catalog. (It mentions the musician friends who see this blog, by the way.) But I also liked the shorter, sweeter draft 1, which I share with you here:


Love to family & friends of Jan on his birthday. He’s still giving to us by keeping us together. Chris R


One Idea for Fighting Crime

Posted February 7, 2013 by janfriend
Categories: Uncategorized

I remember one time when Jan, my brother, and I were rehearsing in my brother’s basement space in Chinatown, Jan got this faraway look in his eye. After awhile, he said, “You know what would be great? What if instead of cops having to go door to door to find criminals, what if they had this giant tractor with huge blades mounted on the front that cut right through walls of buildings? That way, they could just cut their way in and find the criminals sitting there in their living rooms.”

Yonstock 2010

Posted June 28, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: Video


June 26, 2010: a beautiful day celebrating Jan at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, put together by our radiant Liz Mitchell. Video clips for Jan’s friends & family w/ love from Chris Rael

International Day of Jan 3.5!

Posted June 14, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: General

(click to englarge.)

International Day of Jan 3.5

More Pictures

Posted May 31, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: Pictures

Jan Kotik with the boys

Jan with Adam

Jan with kitty

Jan at art school

Posted February 1, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: Uncategorized

Jan and Jack Risley at Cooper, 1990.

I was lucky to have met Jan in 1990, we were in in the same section at Cooper Union, which meant I had pretty much every class with him for that year. It’s hard to imagine what that year would have been like without his presence. People took things pretty seriously, and while Jan did too, he had a way of breaking things up with the subtlest humor and shenanigans. So when photo assignments came around with all the other stuff we had to do, Jan was more than willing to throw on some helmut or bathing cap, grab some fake fur or tape some CD to his lapel, and pose for me. I could barely hold the camera steady, shaking with laughter, tears streaming down my face as he stayed there, unflinchingly funny.


Sue Havens

Brooklyn, N.Y.

JanNight 3!

Posted January 25, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: General