Basquiat Exhibit at the Brant Foundation

Basquiat Exhibit at the Brant Foundation

What’s there to say about Jean-Michel Basquiat that has not already been said and discussed and dissected? An artist who never shied away from infusing searing social and political commentary into his art, Basquiat breathed such intensity and power into his paintings that I almost feel like I can see him leave his mark on these canvases. Basquiat was as influential as he was, for lack of a better word, cool.

I didn’t actually know about the exhibit. My SO—despite thinking for a long time that Basquiat’s name was “John-Michael Basket”—was the one who found out about it through a FB ad and reserved the tickets. By the time I checked the website a few hours later, pretty much all time slots were sold out.

The exhibit marks the opening of The Brant Foundation’s new East Village location, which was sculptor Walter de Maria’s home/studio and, prior to that, a ConEd power plant. The space is unreal. I’m talking ceilings that are like 50,000 ft tall, a skylight reflection pool, and a giant hook suspended from a huge pipe suspended from one of said tall ceilings.

A collection of Basquiat’s work was displayed in all of the building’s 4 floors. It was somewhat jarring to see these masterpieces in these luxurious rooms as Basquiat often commented on wealth inequality and the class struggle through his work. The East Village that he knew and worked in was also far from the gentrified neighborhood that we see today. I wonder what he would’ve thought about this exhibit?

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Uploaded on May 12, 2019

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