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Mati Klarwein

I FIRST ENCOUNTERED MATI KLARWEIN in 1970. Miles Davis had just released his revolutionary Bitches Brew, which featured Mati's painting on the sleeve. It was a perfect visual synthesis of Miles's magical amalgam of funk, rock, jazz, and psychedelia. Mati soon became a famous artist, quite outside the art-world path, for the lavishly detailed, cosmically erotic paintings that fronted albums by Santana, the Chambers Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, and others.

I believe that at the time Mati was going by the name Abdul Mati Klarwein. He once said, “If all Jews would add an Arab name to theirs and all Arabs added a Jewish name then the hatred they have for each other could be attenuated considerably.”

These days I think a lot about Mati, the Jewish Muslim Sufi Christian who was as close to a Buddha as anyone I've ever met. He saw the arts, especially music, as a healing force. Interestingly,

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