Tim never left home without his pocket-sized Moleskin—riding the 6 train to the studio, jotting down thoughts; his mind forever engaged as he prepared for the next project.
Tim had an inquisitive gaze that could penetrate steel.
The most important thing I’ve gathered throughout these years working with Tim Rollins & K.O.S. is that through tragedy is where beauty is made. The difference of experiencing Tim Rollins as an educator, mentor, friend, and activist is that he never settled for the status quo. He always wanted more from us. I’ve never been challenged in such a way. He’d teach us by pulling back a sliver of the veil to pique the curiosity in each of us. Enough so, that we’d then want to discover for ourselves what he had intended us to discover the entire time.
“C’mon on, naa’!” In the studio, that’s when we knew we were on to something big. I can still hear the twang in his drawl, his back arched as if under a spell, his arms flailing wide before meeting in the middle with a CLAP and a stomp of his foot.
From his first gifted book to me, Pablo Neruda’s Canto General, Tim wrote:
In his beginnings
To his last, Gregory Pardlo’s Digest, in which under the title page, he drew an arrow pointing down to the word:
Tim always knew how to inspire, influence and be present in such a powerful way.
Today and perhaps for quite some time, we will spend the rest of our lives attempting to digest this.
Jorge Abreu is a member of K.O.S.