Life as a work of art

One of the most insanely talented people I ever had the pleasure of knowing, my dear friend Huyser Burger, passed away Monday at the age of 39.

Huyser was a rare and admirable breed, a completely uncompromising individual who lived his life exactly the way he chose to do it, one of those people you would meet, perhaps only briefly, and remember for the rest of your life. He was an accomplished artist, effortlessly creating fine art and quality music, and a charismatic performer.

He leaves a legacy of groundbreaking, quality work that touched many people’s lives, but that is just a small part of why we should celebrate his life: it was his biggest, most wonderful work of art that he ever created.

In a way, Huyser lived a life of which many people dream — art school graduate, master artist, founding member of an industrial rock band, talented DJ, more friends than one could handle, and a marathon party that lasted almost 16 years.

He embraced and loved life, swallowing it whole.

Most of us would need four or five lifetimes to create and experience what he did in his. And he was laughing through most of it. He could walk into a room and, minutes later, people were laughing and joking. He could squeeze humour out of any situation, no matter how bleak.

The people closest to him knew the vulnerable and sensitive Huyser, dogged by unbearable emotional pain until his death. That is perhaps why he valued friendship, above all. One of his favourite quotes was by Francis Bacon: “Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.”

Above all, I will remember him as a dear friend, someone who would help you move, someone whose phone call you would take at 3am. Rus sag, my broer.

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