Louis Abolafia

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Louis Abafolia holding a campaign-related sign during his run for the United States Presidency.

Louis Abolafia (February 23, 1941 – October 30th 1995[1]) was an artist, social activist, and folk figure. His candidacy for President of the United States under the Nudist Party on the Hippie 'Love Ticket' various times in the 1960s and onward was a form of political theater or performance art. He "ran" against Richard Nixon in 1968 as the naked Hippie "love candidate" with the slogan: "What Have I Got To Hide?" Abolafia had previously run in 1968 under the Cosmic Love Party, even then with the slogan "What have I got to hide?"[citation needed]

The son of a New York City florist, Abolafia may have coined the phrase, "Make love, not war!",[citation needed] and was part of the Greenwich Village art scene in the 1960s. In this capacity, he organized "love-ins" and "happenings" that combined music, poetry and audience participation, inspiring the New York press to crown him “The Love King.” He became a sort of hippie poster-boy.

Abolafia was a long-time resident of the Lower East Side, where he ran a homeless shelter for wayward youths and other transients. He published a pornographic/countercultural newspaper, Abolafia's Luv, and had several art exhibitions between 1967 and 1970. Abolafia befriended a number of '60s artistic luminaries, including Bob Dylan, artist Yayoi Kusama, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol (and other Factory hangers-on), Canadian socialite Margaret Trudeau, and Satsvarūpa Dāsa Gosvāmī, founder of the Hare Krishna movement.

Abolafia inspired the creation of the Exotic Erotic Ball in 1979 in San Francisco, which was held annually for more than three decades until it was canceled in 2010.

A 1968 Campaign Poster

Abolafia was a "descendent of the Abolafias—writers of the Kabbala"[2]

He died of a drug overdose in 1995.[3]


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