Christopher Knowles (born 1959) is an American poet and painter. He was born in New York City on May 4, 1959, and has received a diagnosis of possible brain damage. He is often referred to as autistic. In 1976, his poetry was used by Robert Wilson for the avant-garde minimalist Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach. Wilson describes his discovery of the then 13-year-old Knowles in the extended notes to the Tomato Records release of Einstein on the Beach
In early 1973 a man … gave me an audio tape … I was fascinated. The tape was entitled “Emily Likes the TV”. On it a young man’s voice spoke continuously creating repetitions and variations on phrases about Emily watching the TV. I began to realize that the words flowed to a patterned rhythm whose logic was self-supporting. It was a piece coded much like music. Like a cantata or fugue it worked with conjugations of thoughts repeated in variations…
The first time I heard about Knowles was when the Boymans van Beuningen museum presented an exhibition on the artists and the BEBERT publishers published one of the best books from the Eighties on this hardly known artist.
For this occasion Jannes Linders, a Rotterdam photographer made the press material. Knowles name did not grow , but the book and his great art remain and are available at http://www.ftn-books.com and so are the press ( original) photographs .