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Monday, May 29, 2023

Capture Culture: The Pleasure of King Basquiat

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Writer’s note: I’ve recently been getting invitations to shows and events that… well, would have made my teenage self flail. In an effort to share more cultural significance with all of you, I will occasionally post Snaps highlighting these events, performances or projects for you to attend, or at least get a glimpse of, no matter where you are physically.

If you’re in LA, or can get here in the next few weeks, you should definitely check out what’s new Basquiat Exhibit at The Grand LA,”King’s pleasure. Curated by his sisters and nieces, “King Pleasure” is a collection of rare and never-before-seen works by the iconic artist, from sketchbook drawings to traditional fine art from all stages of his education, now on display at Los Angeles After a very successful NYC trip.

Charles I, 1982 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat Licensed by Artestar, New York.jpg

Whether you were a fan from back when he was doing the work, or you’re joining the team now,King’s pleasureJean-Michel will deliver in a way you’ve never seen before. Recreating his childhood studio and living room within the four expanded gallery display, the depth of his creativity is truly on display here. While you’ll see countless works in his signature style, you’ll also learn that his abilities have gone beyond what some consider his more abstract pieces of art.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the gallery before it opened with my friend and a creative artist in his own right, Joy Colombo. As we scrolled through the vast collection that ranged from actual doodles to stage-sized paintings, I know I speak for both of us when I say our eyes were opened to just how amazing Basquiat’s life and work really is. From stepping into his living studio, to admiring the improvised canvas he has created to get an idea, the art on display extends far beyond the work most of us are already familiar with. And some are huge. A recent exhibition, containing the pieces he made for the Palladium, is likely to make you feel younger than any other work on canvas you’ve seen in the past. When he clicks on that one the same size as you did all that, and not gigantic, it’s amazing. And each of them is one board!

Untitled (100 yen), 1982 © Property of Jean-Michel Basquiat Licensed by Artestar, New York. jpg

The show is about more than just action though. It really is a celebration of his life. Complete with maps of New York City and Los Angeles outlining the places he grew up and found, as well as the hotspots he frequented, there is a special kind of intimacy here. You can peruse his collection of memorabilia from around the world, and the notes in his sketchbook. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a show that offers this much insight into the artist’s existence. You can directly see the things that were important to him. In the recreated studio you can Feel his process. It’s really really cool.

New York times He wrote that the show “creates an emotional impact that’s hard to shake”, and TimeOut New York called it her “favorite exhibition of the year”.

For another true artist’s perspective, aerial Tell me “[the] The show was exciting and inspiring..it got my creative emotions flowing! ”

In addition to Basquiat’s work, the show also contains many of Warhol’s original works, including his iconic portrait of Jean-Michel, as well as portraits of his family – including Jeanine, the curator on this show.

On display through July, don’t miss your chance to experience these rarely-than-before-seen works, through the lens of his actual family. There are over 200 of them, and there really is something for everyone. You can have fun with your king tickets here.

Image source – Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

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