In the 1950s Fink (born 1941) hitchhiked through the Midwest United States to Long Island, New York, his family’s home. The peripatetic teenager moved on again, but just a short distance, to Minetta Lane, just two blocks from Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
Fink quickly immersed himself into the last years of the Beat scene that swirled in the late 1950s around MacDougal Street. Surrounded by the poetry, music, politics, optimism and anger that characterized this resistance-immersed culture, he regularly photographed (and participated in) this active rebellion. Soon, the group of Beats that he hung out with left on a trip to Mexico.
Fink observed that, “It was my fate to be aligned with the Beats because of my propensity for drugs, anger, and poetry. Since they were second generation, without the same sense of immortal obsession such as the likes of Kerouac and Ginsberg, they had a distinct need to be documented. Perhaps that is why they tolerated me. We were not a happy marriage and got our divorce in Mexico City. The pictures, made in 1958 and 1959, come from MacDougal Street in New York City all the way down to Mexico, and on the road in America.”
The images in the AP/RC are from Fink’s trip to Mexico and a stop that he made in Houston, Texas and are part of his published series, The Beats.
These images were a generous gift of Krishnaswamy Yeleswaram.