Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Basquiat and Date Number Two

Well I made it over to MOCA Sunday afternoon. I didn't even make myself a little late. Lesson finally learned!
As I walked around the gallery and took in the pieces, I had many an conversation with myself. First, I was struck by the question, 'What is art?' As you can see, a lot of his work looks like it could have been drawn by a kid. But the more I walked around, the it became even more than some childish drawings. The next conversation was of course, 'What is he trying to say?' There was a lot of repeated symbolism, like crowns, the copyright symbol, word phases [my favorite was 'World Famous'], and even single words written over and over again. Sometimes, it seemed as if he took all of the things that he encountered during he day and put it all down on the canvas. Kind of like a dream. My favorite painting was a simple square canvas on which was written 'MILK' followed by a copyright symbol.
Many of the paintings showcase his amazing use of colors. They are so strong, bright and vibrant. I loved that some of the art seemed haphazard...the canvases weren't perfectly stretched, there were shoeprints across some of the canvases, and he would cover up portions of the canvas with paint [directly over something was previously painted or written]. There was even what seemed like a melted pillar candle on one corner of a painting. I guess to me wasn't so much the perfection of art, but more the concept and meaning behind it. It was really interesting exhibit. Again, if you get the chance to check it out, please do. $8 isn't a lot to pay to see a large portion of such an important artist's work.