New Orleans artist George Dureau has died. Most of his paintings are large, mythical landscapes filled with passionate, erotic imagery. His photography found beauty & dignity in frank & brutal realities. His spirit was indomitable. His work influenced Robert Mapplethorpe (who sought out his mentorship because he was so inspired by Dureau’s photography). His life inspired the lives of many, many others. If you don’t know his work, google him and take your time; it will be well spent. The Advocate printed a terrific article about the Friends of George, a group which evolved out of the need to take care of Dureau during the last years of his life as he battled Alzheimer’s. This photo of Dureau in his studio is a favorite of mine (note the charcoal portrait of Mapplethorpe). The Arthur Roger Gallery has a fine collection of his often astonishing photography.