Art exhibition “Jean-Michel Basquiat King Pleasure” debuts downtown – The Hollywood Reporter
strikethrough is an attention-grabbing typographical option; it requires you to pay attention to it to temporarily remove everything else around it. Jean-Michel Basquiat, the avant-garde painting prodigy who rose to fame before his death in 1988 at the age of 27, deliberately used this device on his oil paintings. In fact, for a young, messy-haired Haitian and Puerto Rican artist oriented in the predominantly white art world of New York City in the late 1970s and 1980s, political His presence has been a breakthrough – attracting gaze, curiosity, criticism and passive observation. In the end, his alienation is only appreciated by the ingenuity of his work.
Neo-expressionist painting (the movement that Basquiat helped popularize) is direct and challenging in its commentary, discarding the courtesy of mid-century dominating minimalist concepts in exchange for paintings High-energy oil paints are defined by their vibrancy and realistic depiction of reality. Following that tradition, Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, the late artist’s sisters who have run his estate since their father’s death in 2013, have curated and executive produced a show. the exhibition — which opens Friday — tells the true story of Basquiat’s life, featuring some of the 200 pieces of art and ephemeral that have been privately maintained by the family for decades.
“Jean-Michel has always had different perspectives on very local things but then also has the ability to take a step back and look at them from a more global perspective,” said Lisane Basquiat, co-admin of Jean’s Heritage -Michel Michel Basquiat, said.
Basquiat’s travels greatly influenced his work; he spent time living in Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Los Angeles “about eight months in 1982,” Heriveaux said. “Then he came back here and visited rapper and artist Rammellzee and a graffiti artist named Toxic… that’s when he painted ‘Africans in Hollywood.’ He painted those pieces to symbolize their visit here in LA.”
The family chose to hold the show at the Grand LA designed by Frank Gehry because of the surrounding arts community (with MOCA and The Broad nearby) downtown and to honor the wishes of the Basquiat devotees. on the West Coast, looking forward to the opportunity to see the exhibition opening for the first time in April 2022 at the NYC Landmark Starrett-Lehigh Building.
“Los Angeles has a really rich community of creatives and artists, so we thought it was good to come here and connect with this community… we felt that it was a really receptive place to be.” and warmly welcome Jean-Michel,” said Lisane Basquiat. “[He] love it here, he loves it.
An avid collector on trips abroad, some of the objects and moths Basquiat obtained from visits to Japan, Maui and Ivory Coast were found in part of the restored exhibition. present as a recreation of his iconic Great Jones Street studio (which doubles as his apartment) in Manhattan. The experiences he had, the places he saw, and the people he met through chance encounters in these places were also included in Basquiat’s notebook.
“I think it’s amazing how popular he’s become and how he’s integrated into popular culture, both here in the United States and around the globe. He loves to travel… and you can see in his commentary on his work on colonialism, on Africa, on Hawaii,” said Lisane Basquiat.
Conversations about curating the “King Pleasure” exhibition first began in 2017 (at the suggestion of stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick), but it wasn’t until 2020 that Lisane Basquiat and Heriveaux officially begin their collaboration. with producer Ileen Gallagher and ISG Productions Ltd.
“I would say most of our collection has never been seen,” says Heriveaux. “Sometimes we lend to different museums, but I can say that we have probably lent to about a dozen museums. So that’s why we feel it’s important to share what we have.”
Some of the unique pieces include Basquiat’s actual bicycle (“which means he can’t afford to catch a taxi,” says Heriveaux) and two large-format paintings (one 41 feet wide) that he made to reopen New York City. The Palladium nightclub in 1985, found in Michael Todd’s VIP Room. “[They’re] Heriveaux mused. “It was a nice room to end because it showed Jean-Michel and his social scene – he partyed a lot, he loved music – so it was just a great ending for performance.”
The show is a timeline of Basquiat’s life and career, organized non-linearly. Organized by concept and theme, each of the four galleries speaks to a different element of the artist’s persona as a public figure, but more importantly, he is what a human being.
“Like Janine, Jean-Michel and I had this opportunity to create a celebration of his life together,” said Lisane Basquiat of the curation process. “And for us, it was both the gift of being able to actually take the time to sit down and mull over the hundreds of works to distill into what you’re seeing here, but also an opportunity for us to have a a bit of a closure on some things – closing the experience of his passing and the effect and impact Jean-Michel’s passing had on us as a family. I think it’s an opportunity to focus more specifically on the personal side of losing Jean-Michel, because much of our lives [managing the estate] is about the artist Jean-Michel, this character everyone knows. But this is an opportunity for us to put all that aside and really focus on our brother and family.”
Childhood drawings and high school illustrations dominate the first part of the exhibit, a reminder that Basquiat’s talent did not spontaneously emerge from his skull in his 20s; His interest in cartoons and their iconic humour, linguistically and socially, was there from the start. The Basquiat family home in Brooklyn is also represented, using real heirlooms to decorate the temporary exhibit.
“I think, for us, it was more important to find the chapters in his life. Then take those chapters and find works that we feel fit into those different chapters,” says Lisane Basquiat. “He truly respects and honors Black athletes, musicians and actors…so we wanted to find a way to share that he has that respect by finding works that resonate with the theme. that subject.”
More Heriveaux: “[One] room [is called] ‘Royalty’ because we think it’s important to create a gallery of our own [for] all the drawings and paintings he did of his Black heroes. So you have Sugar Ray Robinson, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Grace Jones, Nat King Cole… we felt it was important to incorporate that as all of these people are influential creators. and important to him.”
The symbols and statements that vibrate on Basquiat’s canvases are like color television statics that position him as an observer of the cultural environment in which he lives, but also a clairvoyant – by Someone is deeply attuned to conversations and trends that will persist and reorder long after his passing. “We still face issues of police brutality against Black men. We are still talking about the consequences of colonialism, racism, and some of the more negative aspects of capitalism. Jean-Michel had a clear and powerful voice in that conversation,” Lisane Basquiat said, adding: “And I think Jean-Michel’s voice is very useful today because he used the crown and the crown. it comes to the top very deliberately and confidently. . Got something to say [there] for people of color today.”
During the New York leg of the show, the family curated a selection of shows on fashion, film, music and food — all inspired by the artist’s work.
“We want to do it here, and we want to do it on the nth level because we are integrating into a very innovative environment and city,” says Lisane Basquiat. “I think this is a great way to come in and really immerse yourself in the beauty of Black people and the extraordinary power that exists when a human being chooses to really live his passion, live his heart. and live with the gifts and talents he has. Have.”