THIS WEEK IN ARTS VOL.2: Basquiat’s ‘Defacement’ / Guggenheim Museum, NYC
The museum and the exhibition: comfort minus the déjà vu.
For our first trip to New York City, we automatically planned a visit to one of the many jewels the city has to offer: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Permanent home for contemporary art, ephimeral exhibitions are also notorious there, and the building’s architecture doesn’t disappoint. At our time of visit and alongside Basquiat’s Defacement: The Untold Story, we also enjoyed portraits taken by Robert Mappletorpe and sculptures by Constantin Brancusi.
To be completely honest, we weren’t familiar with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, which we only heard of while watching documentaries and reading Keith Haring’s Journals. Once reconciled with our humility, we fully immersed in this proposed portion of his art. That is the magic of primitive art: simple never precludes impact and meaning.
We would have loved to review our full experience, but we’re limiting this article to the main reason of our visit. Of course, 3 raisons pour will be your best ally when the time comes for a comprehensive walkthrough of the premises. EDIT: it has just been published here!
For now, let’s take a blogable tour!
Basquiat's 'Defacement': introduction and purpose
The exhibition revolves around the death of Michael Stewart (1958 – 1983), a black artist who was arrested and beaten after writing graffiti on a wall at the First Avenue station in New York. This event placed the questions of police brutality, black heritage and social awareness at the heart of Basquiat’s art.
Quality over quantity: exploring cultural activism through the lens of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Basquiat’s Defacement reunites around 20 works. These works are a perfect introduction for the newbie and a genuine moment of active contemplation and conscious awakening for the expert.
Beyond the exhibition (supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Keith Haring Foundation), the museum organized different screenings throughout the Summer, featuring various documentaries and Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, among others.
What's being showed: our selection (click to enlarge for best experience)
Canvases and panels
Collectibles and memorabilia
Information about the exhibition
- Until November 6, 2019.
- The museum operates seven days a week (10 am – 5:30 pm) and closes late on Tuesdays and Saturdays (doors close at 8 pm). A pay-what-you-wish policy (min. 10$) is in place on Saturdays from 5 pm, but it usually is insanely crowded.
How much time should I take to enjoy the exhibition?
- Around 30 minutes for a comfortable exploration of the exhibition alone, 2 hours for the 6 levels of the museum.
Should I go?
- YES. It should almost be a human right (or worst case scenario, a legal obligation).