SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, 70, died this morning, April 28, in San Francisco.
Harvey suffered a massive stroke at his home on the morning of April 4, and died peacefully surrounded by family, according to Marian Goodell, current CEO of the Burning Man Project.
Harvey grew up on a small farm outside Portland, an adopted son of Nebraskans. He moved to San Francsico in 1968 in the Haight-Ashbury district, living many hears with “kindred spirit” Jan Lohr, according to friend Stuart Mangrum. Harvey, influenced by heroes like William James, Sigmund Freud and American Scholar Lewis Hyde, whose book “The Gift” was influential in creating the Burning Man philosophy.
“Much has been written about this seminal Burn, and what it may or may not have represented,” Mangrum wrote. “Was it to burn away the pain of a failed relationship? An act of pure spontaneous creation undertaken on a whim? Larry’s final position on the question was that it did not matter. He preferred that we understand it as a blank canvas onto which to project our own thoughts and feelings, a ritual outside of context and unfettered by explanation.”
The event was relocated to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert and, over three decades, became one of the largest and most influential cultural events of modern history (and is the artistic basis for the Electric Daisy Carnival, among many other events).
“in 2013, with Burning Man’s transition from private ownership to a nonprofit, public benefit corporation. Larry wanted Burning Man to last longer than his lifetime; to become, as he liked to imagine, ‘a hundred year movement.’” Mangrum said, and Harvey eventually stepped away from day-to-day management of the event, but remained active on the board.
“Shortly before his death, Larry attended the gala opening of the Smithsonian’s Burning Man exhibit, ‘No Spectators,’ at the Renwick Gallery in Washington,” the post continues. “This recognition of Burning Man as a major American art movement, after decades of outsider status, gave him a great sense of satisfaction. But at the same time, he liked to remind us that art and creativity are just the more visible aspects of Burning Man’s larger role, as a cultural movement.”