The very existence of Andrew’s art requires the intersection of time, circumstance and events beyond normal understanding. Add the needed advances in personal technology, previous education, an overwhelming medical disability, the determination of Andrew to fight and create, and the love of Bruce determined to help, that is the story of these works. And with all that, the art still overwhelms the story. Full disclosure requires stating that Andrew and Bruce are my Nephews, and that I love them
By James Grossman about Andrew Reach and Bruce Baumwoll
Bruce Baumwoll & Andrew Reach 1981
“Marriage For All” by Andrew Reach 2009
click here to visit Andrew Reach’s website
Bruce Baumwoll & Andrew Reach 1991
Thousands of demonstrators, chanting ″Recall Pete″ and ″We won’t go away,″ marched on “National Coming Out Day” in 1991 at the California state Capitol to protest Gov. Pete Wilson’s veto of a gay rights bill AB 101.
Andrew Reach 1981
photo taken on Cumberland Island, Georgia during a field trip to the Island for a design class while studying architecture at the University of Florida
Our Story Begins
I walked away from my career 20 years ago to take care of Andrew and help him pursue his life and career. Little did we both know that the career would be lost to a very rare genetic disease that put us on the path of trying to keep him alive and live with crushing pain. The disease is progressive Scheuermann’s disease. By the time he was 40 years old the curvature was at 87 degrees. Your dead at 92 degrees. His back was breaking apart like tectonic plates. A normal spine is at 45 degrees. The first surgery occurred in January 2003 and we thought he was saved and then again in the summer of 2004 we were told in layman terms, his head is dislodging from his spine. Another massive surgery was needed. Those two surgeries would send him on a spiral of other parts of the body trying to fight off the initial disease, resulting in multiple additional complications. We’re still fighting. Through all of that we were able to refocus his energy with the pain he lives with every moment into art which we’re still shocked and amazed is traveling around the world. I humbly ask you to look at his art to look at this man’s beautiful soul and all the light that is coming out of him. He’s surely a product of god.
I have now begun to write our story to be left with the art. I am 67 this month. We have been together 38 years and are now married. I tell you all this, not to feel sad for us. Understand that one must always have hope. As my friend and teacher Joseph Campbell told me all those years ago, “Bruce, there’s something about you that keeps you going on”. I hope you can find some value in our journey of what love and respect means in sickness and in health, whether your rich or poor. Andrew and I have lived openly gay since we fell in love all those years ago. Our love gave us the courage to live openly and take what ever would come at us in the times we have lived as gay men. Its been quite a journey.