‘I don’t think about art when I’m working, I try to think about life’
– Jean Michel Basquiat.
This weekend we took the time to delve into the world of one of the disruptive forces of the New York art scene at the Barbican centre. Boom for Real is the first Basquiat exhibition to come to the UK for 20 years showcasing over 100 pieces of his art, music & poetry.
Basquiat's image and art seems so relevant in todays world that anyone who didn’t know his story would think he was a modern street artist of today.
BASQUIAT - boom for real
THE BARBICAN - London
A Grade II listed building, the Barbican is one of London’s best examples of Brutalist architecture.
The Barbican was developed from designs by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon as part of a utopian vision to transform an area of London left devastated by bombing during the Second World War.
The Centre took over a decade to build and was opened by The Queen in 1982, who declared it ‘one of the modern wonders of the world’ with the building seen as a landmark in terms of its scale, cohesion and ambition. Its stunning spaces and unique location at the heart of the Barbican Estate have made it an internationally recognised venue, set within an urban landscape acknowledged as one of the most significant architectural achievements of the 20th century.
BASQUAIT- why should you go?
The relationship between Basquiat and Andy Warhol is especially fascinating. Basquiat first met Warhol in a café when he strolled over to him to sell him one of his one dollar postcard. The exhibition features black and white footage of Basquiat and Warhol talking & laughing and its clearly evident to see Warhol's impact on the then 19 year old fresh faced self taught artist.
It’s quite an emotional experience walking through the exhibition, through Basquiat’s journey of self-discovery as a young black man in New York, interpreting his art through music and poetry as well as through his paintings. His impact on the world of art is undeniable as he wasn’t ever afraid to express himself in whichever form that came to him.
The last part of the exhibition shows footage of Basquiat in an interview bored of the topic of his race and personal life and wants to focus on his art. The exhibition doesn’t mention either race or his tragic death and does him justice by soley focusing on his many talents.
Having said this, this was the kind of exhibition that leaves you wanting more!