Monday, 24 February 2014

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1986

For the longest time, I have wanted to write something about the supernatural, other-wordly, ghostly, uncanny collaboration between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat but Life got in the way. Shout out to the internet for helping me at least post something about the marriage between these two artistic god's

”It was like some crazy-art world marriage and they were the odd couple. The relationship was symbiotic. Jean-Michel thought he needed Andy’s fame, and Andy thought he needed Jean-Michel’s new blood. Jean Michel gave Andy a rebellious image again.”
—Warhol’s longtime studio assistant Ronny Cutrone quoted in Warhol: The Biography by Victor Bockris,
German art dealer Bruno Bischofberger explains how the collaboration came to fruition and how he facilitated this delicious affair.
"In the autumn of 1982 I brought Jean-Michel to Andy Warhol in the Factory and this is how they really got to know each other. I had a firm agreement with Warhol that I could propose younger artists which I found interesting for an article in Interview Magazine, which we had founded together in 1969. Warhol also let me decide which young artists I could bring with me to the Factory to have a portrait done, in exchange for which they could swap one of their works. Warhol trusted my judgement and it was of no consequence that the works that he received in exchange were often worth much less than his portraits. In this way Andy established a relationship with the generation of younger artists. When I told him that I would bring Jean-Michel Basquiat for a portrait session and the usual buffet lunch at the Factory on Union Square the next day he seemed rather surprised and asked me„ Do you really think that Basquiat is such an important artist?“ Warhol was not familiar with Basquiat‘s new work and told me that he remembered having met the artist on one or two occasions, on both of which Warhol had felt him to be too forward. Basquiat had been trying to get to know Warhol and had offered him his street sale art, small drawings on paper that Warhol had been very sceptical of.
Warhol photographed Basquiat with his special Polaroid portrait camera. Jean-Michel asked Warhol whether he could also take a photo of him, took some shots and then asked me to take some photos of him and Warhol together. We then wanted to go next door to have the customary cold buffet lunch. Basquiat did not want to stay and said goodbye. We had hardly finished lunch, one, at most one and half an hour later, when Basquiat‘s assistant appeared with a 150 x 150 cm (60 x 60“) work on canvas, still completely wet, a double portrait depicting Warhol and Basquiat: Andy on the left in his typical pose resting his chin on his hand, and Basquiat on the right with the wild hair that he had at the time. The painting was titled Dos Cabezas. The assistant had run the ten to fifteen blocks from Basquiat‘s studio on Crosby Street to the Factory on Union Square with the painting in his hands because it wouldn‘t fit into a taxi.
All visitors and employees at the Factory flocked around to see the painting, which was admired by all. Most astonished of all was Andy who said: “I‘m really jealous - he is faster than me.“ Soon thereafter Warhol made a portrait of Basquiat on several equally large canvases: Basquiat sporting his wild hairdo, silkscreened on the background of the “oxidation“ type, the same as the Oxidation or Piss Paintings of 1978. Basquiat subsequently painted another two portraits of Warhol. One in 1984 entitled Brown Spots, which depicts Andy as a banana, and the other in 1984-85 which shows Warhol with glasses and large white wig working out with a barbell in each hand.
Basquiat and I soon started to speak of Francesco Clemente as the third artist for the collaborations project and we decided together to invite him to join in, after having pondered Julian Schnabel as an alternative. First, of course, we wanted to know whether Warhol would agree to do the project.
Jean-Michel knew and respected Clemente, whose studio was only two blocks away from Jean-Michels. In the following years he became great friends with him and his wife Alba. He also knew Schnabel well, and for quite some time, and was very impressed by his work and his success. Basquiat decided not to approach Schnabel with the collaboration project because, as he explained to me, he felt that an artist like Schnabel, with his strong, dominating personality, could not have prevented himself from influencing or commenting upon the work of the other collaborating artists. Basquiat, as a black in New York, was over-sensitive to other artist‘s comments on his work. He told me that he was once insulted, in my opinion wrongly, when Schnabel, as a response to the question how he found a work of Basquiats which both were looking at, gave what Basquiat considered to be a too critical answer, but which was surely meant by Julian to be no more than a constructive suggestion.
Clemente had, in the summer of 1983, painted a group of twelve large paintings in Skowhegan, Maine, which I was able to purchase from him and which are also a sort of collaboration. He stretched fragments of painted theatre backdrops made of cloth on stretchers and added his own inventions to those already there. Schnabel had also, early on his career, painted on surfaces that had a clearly defined structure, in a sort of collaboration. In 1986 he painted a series of Japanese Kabuki theatre backdrops, and Enzo Cucchi also painted on four Italian theatre backdrops in 1987.
To get the most spontaneous work into the collaborations I suggested to Basquiat that every artist should, without conferring with the others about iconography, style, size, technique, etc., independently start the paintings, of course in the knowledge that two further artists would be working on the same canvas, and that enough mental and physical space should be left to accommodate them. I further suggested to him that each artist send one half of the started collaborations to each of the other artists and the works then be passed on to the remaining artist whose work was still missing. Basquiat liked my proposal and agreed"

  An interview with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, from the UK documentary series, State of the Art.

Above, Warhol rendered as banana in Basquait’s “Brown Spots,” 1984.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

What Kind of Love - Childish Gambino

What kind of love just stays the same?
What kind of love don't die alone?
What kind of love would take this long?
What kind of love don't make you whole?

Meet me at the studio, I just wanna play you something
Meet me at the studio, I just wanna tell you something

'Cause you said it's not my heart
Even though we're far apart
Can't remember how to solve the lies

You like to call me koala
I'll be your Simba, you're Nala
Wherever you go I'll follow
The lies

Drove for hours just to see your face

Drove for hours just to see your face
We should've talked if just to clear the space
But now we stare at each other, bury whatever feeling that was

He text to keep your heart d-stacks, keep your heart
These girls are smart d-stacks, these girls are smart
Don't know

Why get a dog? It's just gonna die
Everything you love is just going to leave you one day
And that's just real shit, he can still spit but what's the point?
I said a lot of stupid stuff, I think that I was growing up

What kind of love don't hurt so bad?
What kind of love don't feel this way?
What kind of love would make me fall?

Little lies, little lies, little lies
Little lies, little lies, little lies

Sunday, 8 December 2013

a series of fragmentary thoughts [2]

This is what distance (confusion mostly) looks like in times new roman

I wrote this close to the end. I didn’t even bother editing or finishing it because I was no longer in the same place that I was when I began to write it. I think I may have even written this while drunk, I don’t know. I just needed to post something and this happened to be sitting in the dark corners of my laptop. It is an incomplete post but it makes some kind of sense... hopefully. A lame piece but a piece nonetheless.

He is infinite and perfect, a mouthful of holy prayers written in the name of love. Words are never enough when I think of him, the do not begin to describe the glory of his greatness. 

When we are together, they stare (at him mostly) with this longing look in their eyes, like they know the Soul of the World breathes through him. 

He is a full orchestra and I am hypnotized by his devilish symphony. 

He is the moon and I am the midnight tide, brought to shore by his promise to return.

I am envious of the freedom that the wind has, she can dance around his heavenly body and sweep through his desert whilst I am here wondering if he’s wondering about me.

Anahata is sitting with her back towards us, tallying how many times I have drowned in his skin, I think she has lost count

I’ve loved to the point of confusion, never thinking in full, just fragmentary.sentences,

a series of fragmentary thoughts [4]

The undisturbed train 

The past is an ugly place to live in but I find the most comfort in it because that is where we are still an is, that is where we still ex(is)t.

This is what being broken looks like

A campfire is more than just a flame and we are more than just two people that love(d). 

Wilhelms scream is echoing somewhere in the void that your absence has created 

I settled then you settled then we settled and I watched us die before we drew our last breath.
The walls are shaking, that may be my fault.

I’m sorry. 

We kept moving. Loving. Talking. Relating. Absorbing. Speaking. Dying. Melting into the silence. 

“I don’t know about my loving anymore, all that I know is that I’m falling”

I fell. And now I’m that awkward tall person, stumbling in the dark, trying to find stability in something that has become a “was”.
This is not supposed to make any kind of sense. This is just me drinking, typing, writing, expressing, purging, bleeding. 

I got drunk today and thought that it would make me forget. All it did was resurrect the memory of the first time we met and I found myself wishing that I had done something else that day. Maybe then our paths would’ve never led us to this forsaken labyrinth. I don’t know. 

I will always remember the first thing you said to me when I made your bed my own.
“well don’t wait up for me”
The hangover wasn’t the worst part of waking up, leaving was.
This is what love sounds like. 

Sounded like.

a series of fragmentary thoughts [3]


I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror the other day.
My eyes were soft with unfinished weeping,
I felt the urge to sob and sob and sob but I was afraid that my face would start to look like yours.

So I walked instead. 

Your name dirtied the air and I no longer wanted to breathe.
It clung to my skin and followed me everywhere as if it were carried by the wind.
I began to hate it. 


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

sunrise, sunrise, looks like morning in your eyes.

I found these really cool paintings on tumblr (tumblr has now become my best friend). I just wish I knew who they were by because I would really like to see more of their work (I'm doing this thing where I follow up on the people that I reblog). 

So anyway, I like these.

a series of fragmentary thoughts [1]

I became a shadow overnight. 

Eternity is the great seducer of men

and I somehow managed to get myself furiously drunk on the idea that forever actually exists.  

I became a shadow overnight

A figment contorted by the image of love dancing with the wind. Snatching riddles from the mouths of angels and begging the sun to shine a little longer as if all prayers are answered from heaven. 

You were happy

and I was happy

and We were happy, a strange pair with wandering limbs and eager hands. 

The gods laughed when we told them we found riches in each other’s beds, at how we followed the path mapped by the scratch marks etched on the softness of your back and at how we fucked until we were sick of the smell of skin on skin. 

I buried the sound of their laughter in the folds of my sheets and hoped for everything, instead I was suffocated by an air, pregnant with desperation, that insinuated itself in the uncomfortable silence birthed by your fading confidence in our union. 

And then it rained, 

a torrential downpour that drowned us in its merciless waves of melancholy. 

And you were happy

And i was happy

You became a shadow overnight. Ghosts emerged at your feet. I smiled and they melted. 

It rained some more. 

And we weren’t happy.

Darkness danced on my tongue and I became hungry for something that had now become intangible. I starved.

We became a shadow overnight.

- siege