Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Radiant Child

"I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life." - Jean-Michel Basquiat

"EARLY MOSES" - 1983

I am convinced were he alive, Jean-Michel Basquiat would have been enamored with the sudden surge of people creating art in their journals. Truly ahead of his time Jean-Michel combined words, color and bold imagery that hinted at a deeper meaning. Something to scratch at until it bled. In the movie, "Basquiat" there is a scene where he approaches Andy Warhol in a restaurant and asks him if he would like to by some, "ignorant" art. When questioned, he responded, (link) "you know, like stupid, like ridiculous crummy art." This made me laugh as on the surface it seems self-effacing but if you think about it, how freeing is it to already say to yourself, "I'm going to create crummy, ridiculous, stupid and ugly art."  The pressure is off, there is no expectation to create some masterpiece just the void left where true expression can bubble forth.

While I find the movie a little pretentious it still has its moments but if you really want a wonderful view into the man they called, "The Radiant Child"  I highly recommend you watch the documentary that was released about two years ago by the same name.  I found myself charmed and fascinated by an artist that I never truly paid attention to before.

"Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump" - 1982
So open your journal page, better yet, get some canvas, paper, board or piece of wood and create a journal page you can hang up on your wall.  In the end, your expression - your view of the world and your place in it - should be seen and felt even if the only person who sees and feels it is you.

"What is it about art anyway that we give it so much importance? Artists are respected by the poor because what they do is an honest way to get out of the slum using one's sheer self as the medium. The money earned, proof, pure and simple, of the value of that individual, the artist. The picture a mother's son does in jail hangs on her wall as proof that beauty is possible even in the most wretched. And this is a much different idea than fancier notion that art is a scam and a ripoff. But you can never explain to someone who uses God's gift to enslave, that you have used God's gift to be free." - Basquiat Movie

1 comment:

Juliette Crane said...

love looking at these images...thanks for the reminder of this film. it's been a while since i've seen it and i'm loving his work again :) best wishes to you!