This page is reserved for my friends
Due to my roaming life I have both many friends and
few friends, depending on how you define friends.
I am especially attached to those who came to mean a lot for me in
my childhood, in school and in my years as a vagabond in the USA. Much
of my time I spend traveling around to visit them or writing them.
Since especially my American friends are incredibly diverse as a
result of the fortuitous way I met them through hitchhiking, I have
often dreamt of throwing a big party where they could all be present,
a "beggars banquet" for poor folks and millionaires.
However, enough money to bring them all together over the enormous
distances I will probably never get.
But here on the Internet we can at least meet and on
this page I will in time present some of my friends for my other
friends - in the same way as when I frequently have had Danish friends
with me in the car to visit American friends.
So this page will be the domicile for everything
concerning my friends such as:
yearly Christmas letter to Danish friends
which I have written for 28 years. They are not all here as I had no
money for postage during the first years and instead let one or two
copies circulate after a list of names until they disappeared out in
virtual cemetery for deceased friends
For good reasons this is under continuous construction
and it should indeed be a great pleasure for me to complete the work
for all of you before I myself kick the bucket.
Here is an interim presentation of some of my friends - not
that I actually see them very often, but people who in one way or
another has come to mean so much for me that they have become my
psychic life mates:
whom I met when he was a junkie and a criminal, but who became one
of my best coworkers in Europe. Later we moved to the USA until the
American Pictures collective dissolved. After a break for some years
we again joined op and now Tony had become so strong in his racism
workshops that it was his reputation which made the schools book
us again and again.
my Chinese "wife" in New York, as she still calls
since we lived together for the last 8 years there. Also in other ways
she is a real wag. From "our" enormous penthouse apartment
we have a view of both the World Trace Center and the Empire State
Building. Yes, such a "wife" is a whole lot better than
sleeping in my van on the streets, as I usually do!
whom I started a school paper with in 4th grade. During
nightly visits with him I cripped all his homework. Without him I
would never have made it until my second year in high school when I
was thrown out.
is best known as the "playboy millionaire" on page 130
in my book. But this description is a bit too narrow. He was actually
one of the few who had faith in my project in my vagabond years and
often lend me his cars with free gas so I could reach the most remote back roads.
exchange children during vacation time.
was my first real girlfriend in the USA as well as my deep
psychological critic. We were close to getting married and recently
celebrated our "silver wedding" here in Copenhagen. Today
she is a psychiatrist in San
Jensen Jørgen Jensen
who as a student at one of my first high school shows offered to
make copies of my pictures. Since then he also made a movie of
"American Pictures" (for
cinemas) and continues to this day making pictures and museum
exhibitions for me in the USA.
is one of the many I have had with me in my car in the USA.
However, the ice was really broken between us when we had to sleep
together in minus 50 degrees in my van and hunted down mass
murderers in the swamps in the South. Later we collaborated on her best-selling
book about these blood-curdling experiences.
Jens Holm Nielsen
was my very first playmate, when I came to Jutland 3 years
old. Today he is still my base when I return to my home village.
As a gaffer for 25 road construction workers he spends even more time
on the road than I.
is actually just my cousin, but some times our intimacy feels more
like she was my wife. A really good friend and critic.
wanted to make a career on Wall St for himself, when he saw
American Pictures in Berkeley. That changed his life and later he
organized the show 5 times in Harvard. Today he is a defense attorney
for the renown death row inmate
Mumia Abu Jamal and a legal aid for the very poor - among them me.
As an even more flighty person than myself, this dynamic owner of
the global company The Body Shop is not one of those friends I see the
most. But whenever she is close by in Copenhagen or the USA, she
nevertheless finds time to see me. She is still writing about our trip
through the American ghettoes as one of the most moving experiences,
she has had.
was the journalist, who made me famous in 1976. That I have never
forgiven him for. Later our lives were really tossed together, when we were both
"exposed" as "KGB-agents" for the Soviet
made the design for my book and helped me select my photos over
the years. Later we hitchhiked together through Africa, smuggled
secret documents for the ANC to its guerrilla groups and one week
before my son's baptism flew to a bloody race riot in Miami.
first attempted as a criminal and junkie in a gang in the ghetto
of Baltimore to rob me. Later he invited me home. He is still a
junkie, but for many years I have used him as a guest speaker when I
run shows for rich white students. Today he is dying from AIDS and his
daughter is keeping me abreast of events through e-mail.
is my "astrologist", psychologist and mental advisor,
who keeps an eye on my movements everywhere in the world and beeps me
when I am in danger: "Be careful! Today at 4 pm (Danish time) you
will meet violent anger." And sure enough, precisely at 9 pm
(Texas time) a black woman in my audience bursts out in violent anger against me. But since I am now prepared I usually manage to turn the
anger into a later friendship. So Lisbeth is really invaluable for me!
was one of our many volunteers in American Pictures - so clever
that he ended up making both my German and my American versions of the
show. But all of a sudden he ended up in prison as it
turned out he was an East German spy planted by STASI. While in Danish
prison he continued working for us and translated and narrated the
German movie version before the great spy swap between East and West
Germany. Today he continues translating for me and has great success
as a psychologist for many of the former East Germany's
psychologically broken souls.
was my "secretary" during the many years where I housed
refugees from all over the world. When my house was at war with itself
- such as between feminine Iranian shia-Muslim transvestites and
"macho" sunni-Muslim PLO-fighter just released from Israeli
prisons - Jewish Maya was the only one who could reconcile the
fighting partners as a result of the enormous respect, she enjoyed.
She also made our house a center for the South African anti-apartheid
movement led by the man who is today South Africa's ambassador to
Many more presentations of friends will
follow....and I promise that you will all get your own pages with
- other pages under this heading:
2. A political
interpretation of who I am
3. My nuclear family
4. My work in the Third World
5. My writings - with samples
6. My enormous genealogical
8. My dead friends - a virtual
9. My joke collection
page in Danish
© 1997 AMERICAN PICTURES; All rights reserved.