HOBOKEN, N.J.— As their name suggests, the Kids of Survival have been through plenty before there was ever a pandemic. Surmounting obstacles is what they do. Except now they are not kids anymore.
What began in the 1980s as a program for South Bronx teenagers with learning disabilities grew quickly into a successful art collective called Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), whose works are in the collections of major museums. Now it’s composed of four middle-aged men: the brothers Angel Abreu and Jorge Abreu, Rick Savinon, and Robert Branch. Mr. Rollins, the artist and educator who founded the group, died in 2017 at age 62.
The current members started with the group between the ages of 12 and 16, and all had their lives transformed by the experience, overcoming tough circumstances and achieving success not only with the collective, but in their own separate careers, too.
“Our survival is art,” said Mr. Savinon, who met with Angel Abreu and Mr. Branch in their small studio-cum-clubhouse to talk about their improbable life in art. “That’s what gets us through.”
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