Finally went to see the Basquiat show at the Barbican, which is said to be “the first large-scale exhibition in the UK” of his work. I have to admit, though I’ve always found Basquiat himself very cute, I’ve never found his paintings very interesting.
Well, I was proven completely wrong - when you see them in reality, and give them a chance, his paintings are, of course, amazing. I usually have the patience to be at an exhibition for maybe an hour and a half - but I was there for well over two hours and could have stayed longer.
I loved watching the film, “Downtown 81” featuring Basquiat and loosely based on his life. I loved all the polaroids, sketches and stories of all the 1980s New York art scene hipsters. It was really great to get so much context for his work.
Of course Banksy had to make an appearance, creating some new work outside the Barbican (see last image above). Says Banksy, “Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican - a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.”
So now the Barbican is celebrating Basquiat, who started as a graffiti artist etc, and they have some Banksy graffiti on their walls making fun of the fact that they are doing this… The Barbican sort of wants to remove the Banksy graffiti that is poking fun of them, but doing so would make them look bad (who would paint over a Banksy!?)
Have a nice weekend!