The story of Tim Rollins and the Kids of Survival in the South Bronx is, by now, legendary. They're the subject of an exhibition at the Frye Art Museum, and last week Rollins and K.O.S.er Angel Abreu talked onstage at the museum to a packed room and an overflow crowd of 40 watching a simulcast in the museum's education wing.
What really happened all those afternoons in the broken-down public-school studio, with Rollins determined not to let these kids flounder and these kids wondering what the hell this white guy was trying to do?
Hear about it in this interview, taped at the Frye just before the talk. My review of the show is here.
(One P.S.: I forgot to ask on tape why there haven't been more girls in the group. It's a common criticism of K.O.S. Rollins answered candidly when I brought it up after the interview. He said, one, parents didn't want their girls running around with boys after school, and two, when there were girls, there was sex. A girl would go to the bathroom, a boy would go to the bathroom, and they'd come back a half hour later. There never were restrictions on who could join, but Rollins could get more done just with the boys, he said.)