Richard Lewis…A Reflection with Love

by Chris Murray on March 5, 2024


I first got to know Richard Lewis as a rare book collector of musical titles at Govinda Gallery, and then as his collaborator on Reflections from Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide On How Not To Live. It was my great pleasure to edit Reflections from Hell, write the preface and to bring it to publication with powerHouse Books. Working on that book together Richard and I became great friends.


Drawing by Carl Titolo.


The last time I was with Richard in person, with his wonderful wife Joyce just last year in Los Angeles, he gave me a framed drawing taken off the wall of his home by the artist Carl Titolo. Carl’s drawings accompany Richard’s ‘Refections’ in his powerHouse book. The drawing he gave me had been inscribed by Carl to Richard in February 2003. It said “Richard…Thanks for the empty wall! Carl.” Richard was an avid collector of Titolo’s art, as is Richard’s friend Larry David. The inscription reflected the fact that Richard had bought everything off the walls of Titolo’s studio! It meant so much to me that Richard gave me that drawing.  Carl had passed on only a few years earlier.


Chris Murray and Richard Lewis in Los Angeles.


I wrote in my preface to Reflections from Hell:  “I won’t soon forget Lewis’ words combined with Titolo’s works on paper. The collaboration immediately engaged me in a way that was intimate and personal while at the same time existential and universal. Their work together is a contemporary personification of creative angst from which we can laugh at the dilemmas of life we all face.”


Richard Lewis and Carl Titolo, Chicago, 2015.



Richard Lewis was one of the kindest people I have ever known. What a blessing to have him in my life. Saddened as I was at news of my dear friend passing on, I am comforted by the legacy he leaves for us all. Richard Lewis… a comedic genius, a devoted husband and a true friend.


Richard and Joyce.

“I love you.”


Richard absorbed in his Reflections, Chicago, 2015.


Available from powerHouse Books


“You will be in awe of how his synapses fire, how he observes life around him, how his brain sorts and compiles all the images it takes in. You might also notice how kind and sweet and generous he is.”

-Larry David, from his foreword to Reflections from Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide On How Not To Live.


All photographs by Carlotta Hester.

Category: Blog, The Back Room   

3 responses to “Richard Lewis…A Reflection with Love”

  1. Les Levine says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve been a fan of Richard’s for decades. Another great loss. I’m 80, so I shouldn’t be surprised when we lose these important entertainers. I suffered a stroke in August which took out my left leg and foot, but I’ve been getting PT & OT and I’m now mobile with the assistance of a walker. Aiming to be able to rely on cane.

    As an aside, I attended a gallery show of some of Ronnie Wood’s work in Nyack and bought a t-shirt, black with a silk screen of Keith Richards (one of my rock and roll alter egos). It wound up being stolen from me while I was poolside at a hotel on A1A in Delray Beach.

  2. Christine Nassikas says:

    I am so sorry Chris. He was a very special friend and talented person. You both were blessed to have known each other.

  3. Patty Marcus says:

    Hi Chris,

    Not sure if you remember me… this is such a beautiful tribute to him. Your photo together with him illustrates how much he cared about you. My husband Danny and I saw him at a theatre in Arlington a number of years ago and so glad we did! He was so neurotic and whiny and hysterical!!! Thank you!!!

    Patty Marcus

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