A Brief (#tbt) Interview with Photographer Kurt Weston

A brief #tbt q&a with award-winning, legally blind photographer, and HIV and LGBTQ+ activist Kurt Weston.

Kurt Weston at a Glance: A Brief Interview (a #tbt)

Many years ago, when I was working on Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography of award-winning, legally blind photographer Kurt Weston, I did an additional, brief q&a with my subject. Since Kurt Weston is an award-winning photographer, visual artist, and also HIV and LGBTQ+ activist, I’d like to share this interview here. I believe his answers are as relevant today, as they were years ago.

Kurt Weston’s REMEMBER: An AIDS Retrospective, opening night at OCCCA on WAD2018

Kurt Weston at a Glance – A Q&A with the Award-Wining Visual Artist

Q. Who is your hero?
A.
I have had many heroes throughout my life, but basically it is anyone who can take me to the next level of consciousness.   

Q. What do you fear most?
A.
 Unrestrained hatred and prejudice.

Q. What/who inspires you?
A.
  Anyone who is inspired by reason, intellect, and compassion.    

Q. What brings you hope?
A.
Every hand that is extended towards mine, and every face that graces this world with a smile. 

Q. What would you tell an aspiring artist?
A.
Artists are creators; go create something that will transform people’s perceptions.

Q. What are you most proud of?
A.
  Surviving AIDS and using my life experiences and my art to help others do the same.

Q. What is one of your bad habits?
A.
  I have an acute awareness of the passing of time and I become anxious unless I am using my time to continually do and create.    

A brief q&a with award-winning photographer Kurt Weston.
Award-winning photographer Kurt Weston discusses his work at the opening of REMEMBER: An AIDS Retrospective, WAD2018, at OCCCA. Photos by Alina Oswald.

Q. Name one person/event/anything who’s touched your life for the best? Worst?  
A.
This is a very complex question. I believe that there are different levels of consciousness that we experience over our lives and for each level there is a person who represents the best and the worst of humanity and life on this planet as we experience it. My [husband] Terry is one of the best human beings I have ever had the pleasure of being connected with. And of course so many others before I reached this level with Terry. As for the worst, I believe that even what we consider as being terrible is placed in our path for a reason, even if the reason is to see the duality and polarity of the world we live in.       

Q. What is the most useful thing you’ve learnt in life so far?
A.
So much of our time is wasted on useless mind numbing activities, entertainment and trivial pursuits. The world belongs to people who are present, focused, and participating in life.     

Q. Favorite (one) word to describe: 

Art: Creation

Terry: Giving [Terry is fellow activist and Kurt’s husband]

Kurt: Being

Quasi: Unconditional [Weston’s dog he mentions in the book]

SWAN: Surviving [Surviving With AIDS Network organization, also mentioned in the book]

TPA: Hope [Weston is a Chicago native. Test Positive Aware (Network) organization, still in Chicago]

Q. Favorite quote/motto you live by:
A.
“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” (John Lennon) 

Q. Favorite word-phrase:
A.
Wow!

Q. What do you want to be remembered by?
A.
My artwork, and fight to survive and thrive in the face of disease and adversity.  

Q. What do you wish for in your life?
A.
  To use unrestricted resources to release the full potential of man’s ability to cure disease, create transformative art, music and performance, and stop war. 

Terry, yours truly, and Kurt at the opening of his show, REMEMBER: An AIDS Retrospective, at OCCCA, on WAD2018

Read more about award-winning photographer Kurt Weston in Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography or online and check out his interview on CNN.

Learn more about Kurt Weston by visiting him online.

As always, thanks for stopping by,

Alina Oswald

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