FRED BURKHART


While obviously not Haitian, Chicago artist Fred Burkhart was a kindred spirit to the self-taught masters of Haiti.  Fred lived a true artist's life.  A photographer, artist, writer, and poet, Burkhart exquisitely captured outsider elements of American life over the past fifty years.  Through his photography, Fred  documented such diverse cultures as Venice Beach in 1967, Beat Generation legends such as William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey, Alan Ginsburg, and Herbert Hunke, the Ku Klux Klan, street derelicts,  jazz musicians, punks and rebellious youth, the gay pride movement, and the daily lives of the everyman.

Beginning in the late 1990s, he began hosting a weekly coffee house and performance expereince called the Burkhart Underground in his Chicago studio.  The Underground featured musical performers, poets, artists, many of whom continue to shape the cultural tapestry of Chicago and beyond.

In 2010 Fred was dianogsed with terminal prostate cancer.  Even in the face of tremendous pain and suffering, Fred's last years of life continued to inspire, and now serve as his final enduring work of art.  Fred died in the evening on August 30, 2014.  

© CHIGOHA 2017