Wednesday, March 4, 2015


So excited to see the show of Jean-Michel Basquiat's work at the AGO. Both Chris and I are fans and tried to convince our son to join us but our days of dragging him around art galleries is near an end. He still comes to the odd one but for this one we were on our own. 

this piece greeted us upon our entry to the exhibit
The politics of his work makes me sad that his concerns are still major issues for the black community 30 years later.

this piece, titled 'untitled symphony' with bits by Keith Haring,
after this I noticed a sign asking not to take photos...

This is a still from the film 'downtown '81'
 a sweet film about an artist getting by in New York City in the early 80's. Lots of familiar faces...

I saw a retrospective show of his work shortly after he died at the Whitney in New York City in 1992...I wish I could find my photos. I do remember the show and the wow of it all. So many strong paintings and sculptures. There is a review I would like to find by bell hooks in Art in America June 1993 reviewing the show and reprinted in bell hooks, Art on My Mind: Visual Politics (New York: New Press, 1995). 

At the time,I was so blown away with what he was doing. I had read a bit about him before and of course his tragic tale makes the work that much more precious because of the short period in which he created it. Such an intelligent, beautiful and charismatic character, I think it comes through in his paintings and sculptures.
You should check out the documentary film, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child by his friend Tamra Davis, much better than the Schnabel version film/story about Basquiat.

One of my favourite children's books is, 'Life Doesn't Frighten Me' which is a poem by Maya Angelou with paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

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