Why this Book?
In 2006 I learned about Burning Man through a series of articles in the New York Times. At the time, my wife, Ilene, was in the late stages of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a fatal neuro-muscular disorder. She was an artist and loved the images and descriptions of the event. I tried to convince her to hang on and go to the next event with me, but she said she wouldn’t last that long and urged me to go in 2007. She died six weeks later.
Not knowing what to expect beyond what I read in the survival guide, I was blown away by the feeling of “coming home” and deeply moved by the Temple of Forgiveness. Ilene would have loved and reveled in the whole Burning Man experience.
At that year’s Temple Burn, I resolved to do something to help support the creation of the temple each year. At the 2008 burn I met with Andie Grace and proposed the idea of setting up a portrait studio at Center Camp to accomplish three goals: 1) Gift portraits to participants, 2) Create a book of portraits revealing the diversity of people attending Burning Man, and 3) Donate as much of the profits from the sale of the books as the IRS permits.
BURNERS and the related art products on this site are the first results of that effort.
AND there will be more to come.