Sunday, May 31, 2015

Love is Healing / Faridi McFree

Portrait of Bob Dylan by Faradi McFree

A flat Renaldo hat or a harmonica below the chin are keys to recognizing a Dylan portrait by Faradi McFree.

"The Zimmie Fence" 1982 by Faridi McFree.   Two pieces of corrugated cardboard Faridi used to message Bob Dylan.  The Zimmie Fence measures 16″ x 32″ and is backed with a piece of gift wrapping paper.  In Supermind Aliens, a script Faridi created for television, one character is named Zimmie the Zipper ( Bob Zimmerman Dylan).  The “Zipper” refers to the character being cloistered or “zipped up” from the outside world.  A third piece of cardboard covered with hearts carries the message, “Baby, Crawl in My Window".

Faridi McFree was born Frieda Asmar on March 8, 1936 in Hillside, New Jersey. She married Michael Hanft in 1961 and the two purchased a home in Bearsville, New York, a rural suburb of Woodstock. The couple maintained an apartment in New York City as both worked for the William Morris Agency. As a hobby in the 1960s, Faridi refurbished old barns – including the now famous Midnight Ramble barn belonging to Levon Helm. While living in Bearsville, Faridi was also friends with Paul Butterfield, Libby Titus, and Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman. In 1972, the Hanfts moved to Santa Barbara, California. Michael began work for Merv Griffin and the Mike Douglas Show while Faridi was swept up by the blossoming New Age and Transcendental movements. At the time, their next-door neighbor was Jonathan Taplan, producer of the film The Last Waltz. In 1975, at Taplin’s wedding, Faridi met Bob Dylan. Shortly thereafter, Faridi began working for the Dylans as nanny for their children. Among her duties was teaching art to the Dylan children. In 1977, after Bob Dylan divorced his wife, Sara, and Faridi and Michael separated, Faridi moved in with Bob on his farm in Minnesota. The love affair ended later that same year. Faridi spent the next few years in California, promoting her *Healing Art while working for Herman Rush, CEO of Columbia Pictures Television. Faridi then moved to New York City where she worked for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells at One World Trade Center. In 1982, Doubleday published her book, Celebrate You, featuring Faridi’s artwork, affirmations, and healing techniques. In 1983, Faridi became an Interfaith Minister. She worked with the underprivileged, the terminally ill, and children from broken homes. In 1987, William Morrow published her book, Peace on Earth Begins With You. After a short illness, Faridi McFree passed away on August 25, 2009.

*In his 2001 book, Down the Highway: The Life and Times of Bob Dylan, author Howard Sounes writes, “Faridi had invented a concept called Healing Art.” 

" Love is Healing " by Faridi McFree
 As their affair came to an end, Faridi created these two portraits.  At the time the affair began, Faridi had separated from her husband of sixteen years.  The love she felt for Dylan may have helped her through the difficult separation and ultimate divorce.  The “Love is Healing” affirmation peppers many of Faridi’s works.

by Faridi McFree, 1976

" Faridi created many trivial pieces of art for her own amusement.  
Here, someone, perhaps Faridi, poses a question to Bob Dylan."

Thank you to my sources

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