BOOM FOR REAL: JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

BOOM FOR REAL - JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

The Barbican is currently hosting the first comprehensive exhibition of works by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Together with Grayson Perry’s ‘The most popular art exhibition ever!’ at the Serpentine Gallery, BOOM FOR REAL left a deep impression on me. I was blown away. Whilst I found it moving, nostalgic and melancholic, some of my friends were more taken by the underlining racial tension, social criticism and pointy sarcasm. It is not difficult to understand why, though it is not immediately apparent. Licensing the images of his works to many popular…

THE LONELY CITY – ADVENTURES IN THE ART OF BEING ALONE

THE LONELY CITY - OLIVIA LAING

A for Art or possibly Autobiography? Psychology or Politics and Ideas? The Lonely City could legitimately sit on any one of these shelves. Working in a bookshop reinforces the importance of filing and the need to know where stock is, and more tantalizingly, understanding which position will tempt a browser. Part memoir and part artists’ biography, The Lonely City was written by native Brit Olivia Laing as a reaction to finding herself suddenly and unexpectedly living alone in New York. Her loneliness drove her to finding solace in the realm of visual art. Experienced by millions, but not widely…

ANDY WARHOL: ELUSIVENESS AND UBIQUITY

GUN - ANDY WARHOL, 1981

Like London buses, you wait for one for ages, and then two come along at once. Both Firstsite and the Alcyon Gallery have an exhibition on Andy Warhol. Whilst he is credited for coining the expression ’15 minutes of fame’, this could not be less true of his enduring and ubiquitous popularity. A reminder, if one was ever needed, of the undiminished relevance of his work in the contemporary art scene. He introduced a bold and genial rite of observation and fast consumption of art, building on his early experience as a commercial illustrator,…