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This is an edited transcript of the interview conducted by Jody Denberg of KGSR 107.1 - Radio Austin on March 26th 2003. Published with kind permission.

Patti Smith: (--) When I came to New York in 1967, I came, in order to work on my art. I met Robert Mapplethorpe and we worked together for years. But it's more something that I do more privately, because -- it's not something that I promote or anything, but I have been working steadily and had a big exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum, a retrospective in September. And they took it. And Houston is the second museum to take it. It will be going to Tokyo and Philadelphia and Europe. So I'm pretty proud. But it's the work I've been doing since 1967.

Jody Denberg: So the Andy Warhol Museum, that's in Pittsburgh?

Patti Smith: Yeah.

Jody Denberg: The big opening… Patti Smith… artwork… Pittsburgh. Andy, you left us another little smile right there, I think.

Patti Smith: Well, I think it was interesting, because, I mean, I did know Andy and he was actually always, y'know, supportive of the work that I did. I mean, privately, you know, as a friend. And I don't think he would have minded me having the exhibit there. And it was interesting. These are several drawings that I did of Robert (Mapplethorpe) that I did when Robert and I knew each other, when we were younger. And it was interesting, because when I walked into the museum, the first thing I saw was a huge silkscreen that Andy Warhol did of a portrait Robert. So I felt like we were all there.

Jody Denberg: Full circle.

Patti Smith: Yeah.

Jody Denberg: You say you've been doing this since the '60s, but never actively promoted it. You didn't really hide it or anything.

Patti Smith: No, well, I just do my work. You know, I sell the work sometimes. Many museums have it; the Museum of Modern Art, some museums in Europe. I just love the work that I do, but I'm not really involved in the art world. So I don't know how many people are aware that I do that. But I do a lot of things, you know. I write my books, I make my drawings and take my photographs. And it's just that it seems like most people know me through rock and roll. And that's okay with me.

Jody Denberg: Yeah. Hail, hail rock and roll. So drawings, photographs.

Patti Smith: There are some large pieces. Actually, a large part of it is after September 11th, one of the images that was very strong for me was the remains of the South Tower that looked a lot like the Tower of Babel. It was the skeletal remains. And I got a photograph of it and then made silk screens of the South Tower and made a large one about four feet. And I use a lot of handwriting and sort of recreated the Tower, just with handwriting, taking all of the words from the Essene Gospel of Peace. So making sort of a peace tower. And so a lot of the newest work was my reaction, aesthetically, to, you know, what happened on September 11th. I made a series of huge paper airplanes on handmade paper that has all the names of the victims who died in the airplanes, drawn onto the paper airplanes. So you know, I found a way to address and give thought to the victims, but also to think about the best response as a human being. And for me, the best response was, you know -- was communication, peace, and trying to develop a global peace movement. It wasn't my hopes for what happened post-September 11th are different than how we have evolved at this period. But right probably around September 12th, September 13th, I started doing this work and also started actively working with people to develop some kind of global peace movement.

Jody Denberg: We're talking with Patti Smith. Her art opening is in Houston and she's playing with her band tonight at La Zona Rosa, which is so exciting. And this art opening is exciting.

Patti Smith: I thought, if I'm going to come to Texas, I have to go to Austin. I don't think I've ever been to Texas in my life that I didn't come to Austin. So I didn't want this to be the first time. So it was a good excuse to come over and visit you and play. And we're excited. The band's playing great. You know, I really feel on top of my game. And I'm happy to be playing where we're playing, so…

Jody Denberg: 'Cause you guys were going to go out after the anthology Land and then there was a little bit of an accident in the band.

Patti Smith: Yeah, yeah. Jay had a very bad accident -- motorcycle accident and almost lost his leg. And so that really shifted what happened there. And also, I was sort of being let go by Arista, so it just didn't turn out the way that I was hoping. But we're in a new time. I have a new home. I have a new contract with Columbia Records. And they're very excited. They're really great people. They're totally supportive. And they understand what type of band we are. They're not talking to me about singles and videos and all that stuff. They talk about, y' know, communication and content, developing a website that we can communicate ideas and give people live tapes and a more generous website that I've been able to give in the past. So I'm really excited about being at Columbia.