Today I am very sad to hear about the passing of Nick Kilroy, photographer of Zabriskie Point, and founder of Kin Records.
In July of 2003, Nick emailed me to tell me that he liked my site and the photos I had posted at the time. He also wanted to tell me about the photolog he just started, Zabriskie Point. He wrote,
"Zabriskie Point is a place for images that have recently fallen out of my camera. Words and meanings are few, I like the images to speak for themselves. It's named after both the visually stunning film by Antonioni - highly subjective and indulgent, albeit enjoyably so - and the remote Borax mine in the centre of death valley. My aim is to achieve a similar purposelessness."
He also mentioned to check out his main site, and that it was his label and that said that I'd be hearing about it soon.
We briefly exchanged a few more e-mails about photography and starting a label. He said it was easy and sent me a few links. After that exchange I thought nothing of it and continued visiting his site and enjoying his spectacular photography. The photos were always so surreal and haunting. Enjoyably so.
Cut to the summer of 2004 or so, I start hearing some buzz about a Canadian band called Junior Boys. I do a little searching and I find out that it was Nick who discovered them and released their album Last Exit on his label Kin Records, the very label he promised I'd soon hear about. I remember thinking "how fucking cool is that?". I was proud of him. Some stranger who e-mailed me out of the blue. He said it and he did it. It was a small, good moment.
This morning reading on Pitchfork about his passing threw me for a loop. I didn't know him, but he was somebody I admired, for his beautiful photography, for his excellent taste in music, and for being the kind of person who follows through and doing what he said he would.
Reading through all the comments at ILM, it's comforting to read about how much of a positive impact he had on so many people through similar exchanges just by his sheer enthusisam and determination.
Even though he many not have wanted in it in his art, but in his life, Nick Kilroy was someone with a purpose. And as Philip Sherburne thoughtfully points out, somebody who mattered.
Rest in peace, Nick.