Monday, 29 August 2016

Basquiat Becomes One Of My Things

I saw Julian Schnabel’s movie Basquiat when it came out in the UK, and it lifted my spirits something wonderful. I was intrigued by the Basquiat’s art - although the paintings in the movie are by Schnabel, Jeffery Wright and other assistants.  For a long time Basquiat was on my list of “Good Artists Whose Work I Wouldn’t Want On My Walls”.
(Jeffrey Wright actually painting a school-of-Basquiat.)

There was an article on Marion Maneker’s Art Market blog earlier this year about the fact that, though Basquiats do well with collectors and at auction, art museums don’t have many if any. There are none in Tate Modern. I had the answer as soon as I finished reading the sentence.

Imagine a Basquiat next to all those paintings in Tate Modern: it would simply drown them out. You would realise how damned polite all those Surrealists and whatever all else’s are. From memory of the collection there, only the Rothkos could stand up to the competition.

This sent me back to looking at his paintings again. I bought the affordable and well-illustrated book from the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and turned the pages looking at the pictures. This time around I found myself thinking that I wouldn’t mind having some of these on the walls. Whatever it was I had seen but couldn’t respond to, I could no respond to. So a couple of weeks ago, I saw the larger Now’s The Time (published by Prestel and pretty darn affordable) in Waterstone’s Piccadilly and snapped it up. And a pleasure to look through it is.

This happens from time to time. Something I’ve dismissed, ignored or simply filed as “Not My Thing” suddenly becomes one of my things. Time. Experience. More reading, looking and listening. Remind me to tell you how I came to like, rather than simply admire Eric Rohmer’s movies.

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