Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
( Lou Reed “Walk on the Wild Side”)
The artist’s job is to open our eyes. I don’t think I ever saw a person like Holly Woodlawn until I saw Holly Woodlawn. And after watching those few minutes she shared with Joe Dallasandro in “Trash,” I will never forget her. Holly was an outlaw. Not the kind that puts a knife to your throat in an alley.She was the kind of an outlaw who went through life with a knife pressed against her own throat. It was a rough life, and it ended at 3:06 pm on December 6th in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer. She was 69 years old.
I don’t have any particular interest in the transgendered community of which Holly was a part. But I do have an interest in humanity. Escpecially in what we an learn about humanity from those whose experiences in life differ from our own. Who we are and how we fit into the world is a constant battle between how we see ourselves vs how others see us. From one perspective, Holly was a superstar. From another, she was trash.
The artist opens our eyes. Holly showed us there is a bit of the superstar in all of us. As well as a bit of trash. And wherever the balance falls, we are all pretty much the same.