So I'm going to talk about my favorite artist, but bear in mind that I have never taken a class on him and/or written a thesis about him. I could read a bunch of profiles on him online, but that would somehow feel dishonest. If there's one thing I'm big on, it's not aping other people's perspectives so you can sound smart. I'll use Wikipedia for some basic details about his life, but that's it. So if anyone reading this has, please don't judge me bad. Ly. I may not know what I'm talking about, but one of the beautiful things about art is you don't have to. Oh, and if this post bores you...I'll try to slip in lots and lots of photos. Frankly, I need a lot of colorful pictures and pop culture references to make it through a post like the one I'm about to write- my attention span is effectively zero.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a neo-expressionist artist (I don't know either. Let's just assume it's a fancy art word and move on.) He started out mainly as a graffiti artist in lower Manhattan in the '80s. As he became more well-known, his work was exhibited with the work of artists like Keith Haring (another favorite of mine) and Francesco Clemente. He also hung out with Andy Warhol, which...ehh. I'm over my Andy Warhol phase, I think. Luckily, Sienna Miller helped to make me loathe all things Edie Sedgwick with that atrocity of a film called Factory Girl, which I liked for about two days and then instantly loathed. Basquiat died of mixed drug toxicity, according to Wikipedia (I thought he died of an overdose. Are they the same thing? I'm not really up to date on the drug world) in 1988. The thing I like best about his work is how it kind of feels like it's playing a joke on you. I mean, a seasoned art expert could look at it and say "Hmm. I see tones of so-and-so here. This is clearly an impassioned plea for social justice in post-war America" or something. Or, an unexperienced amateur blogger (hi) could look at it and say, "Hmmm. Cool picture. I like how the images are kind of frenetic and crazy-looking but it all fits together nicely." I could be off-base here, and obviously it's impossible to ask Basquiat what he intended to portray in his works, but I just feel like he's kind of cleverly making fun of the art world by putting all this random stuff together and making people think there's some hidden message, when maybe it's just a cool picture. Maybe there is, I don't know (a hidden message, that is). That's just the impression I get from his paintings. See, this is why I shouldn't blog about art- I don't know what I'm saying. I think what I'm saying is- I never get tired of looking at his paintings. You could look at them forever and still not "understand". They're like collages in that every piece is different yet fits together in some deliciously bizarre and twisted and gaudy way. I have a Basquiat print hanging in my bedroom, and often I find myself just sitting there idly and looking at it.
Without further ado-
See what I mean? You could look at this for days, trying to decipher the hidden meaning. Or you could just look at it as interesting graffiti art.
What I think is coolest about Basquiat is that his stuff looks like something a child could have made, yet infinitely more complicated and intricate.
Finally, here he is himself.
He actually looks like he'd be fun to hang out with, unlike Andy Warhol.
Okay, so that's my schpiel on Basquiat. He, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Keith Haring and Manet are my all-time favorite artists.
MUSIC & TV CORNER- I've been listening to so much good stuff lately. "Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens is pretty perfect and melancholy and beautiful. It's sad, of course, as it's about a girl with cancer, but it's not overly emo or angsty. Look at these lyrics-
Golden rod and the 4-H stone
The things I brought you
When I found out you had cancer of the bone
Your father cried on the telephone
And he drove his car to the Navy yard
Just to prove that he was sorry
In the morning through the window shade
When the light pressed up against your shoulder blade
I could see what you were reading.
"Bad Education" by Tilly and the Wall is such an amazing song. I love that they tap-dance along with their singing. "Hotel Song" is one of my new favorites by Regina Spektor- but really, you can't go wrong with Regina. And I'm loath to admit it, but I've totally been listening to that song "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Whoever A LOT lately. Okay, I know her full name. It's Corinne Bailey Rae. It's a pretty catchy song. And by catchy, I mean it won't get the hell out of my head. Anyway, at least CBR isn't one of those annoying fake-breathy bubble gum pop singers who constantly sound like they're intoning through their noses. Not to name names. Shmanessa Barlton. Oh, ALSO, I just found out that the Beatles are coming to iTunes. How do we feel about this? Molly? Wat? Other Beatles aficionados/aficionadas? On the one hand, it's cool that their music will be more available. On the other hand, it kind of feels like it ruins the Beatles' classic...Beatleness to have them on iTunes. An old quote from somewhere springs to mind- "On the other hand, you have different fingers." Yes, I am the queen of Randomania. But think about it for a minute or two.
So Jael got the (steel-toed) boot last week. Yeah, I should be more upset, but...the girl is two sandwiches short of a picnic lunch. May I just quote her for a moment? "I will protect them from the evil ducks of the universe." "I am the spreader of light." "I just wanna, like, touch the grass, and the animals, and, like, breathe the air, and climb the trees." Picture Jael in samurai attire fighting herds of pecking ducks dressed in little Renee-esque headscarves away from the Top Model domain, rubbing some poor defenseless animal and stroking the grass and gleefully spreading light around the realm. Bahahahaha. Funny girl, but I would have been worried for the safety of the other girls had she remained any longer. The girl celebrated her elimination by putting on a blue wig and tutu. Kind of awesome, yes, but also kind of batshit. I am now firmly on team Dionne and Nata. Can they both win? I'd rather Nata won, because I LOVE HER, for real, I can't believe she didn't used to be my favorite, but I love Dionne too. I didn't think this season's girls were all that good at first, but they're growing on me. Especially Jas-queen. Oh, by the way, I love how they had that April chick from Cycle 2 and pretended like being a top model- I'm sorry, a Top Model- will actually get you somewhere in life. Oh, one more thing. JAS-QUEEN, EAT A CHEESEBURGER. JESUS.
SIGHTINGS- Oh, I saw a bad thing. I saw a really bad thing. I am not saying this to be cruel, but because it is the truth. Unless you are Britney circa 1999, you should NEVER attempt the schoolgirl look in a tiny pleated kilt and tied-up white oxford, with knee-length stockings and Mary Janes. Not kidding. Somebody actually wore this outside on the street. Without irony. On a Saturday, so it clearly wasn't a school uniform- also, the woman wearing it was Of A Certain Age, which really makes it that much sadder. Also, just because it is summer, nearly (YAYAYAYAYAYA. I love summer, especially after a long winter), doesn't mean every cyclist in the park needs to be sporting Lycra and Spandex and whatnot for their morning rides. Especially if you are...er, endowed in the buttock arena. There are plenty of clever and stylish alternatives to shiny bike shorts. Now, onto the good...a girl of attention-seeking thinness was strutting down Fifth Avenue in the cutest pinstriped shorts with wedge heels, which usually annoy me but looked cool with the shorts. If I hadn't hated her on principle I would have kind of idolized her.
CURRENT ATTIRE- I'm in this little gray hand-me-down minidress that I think is actually kind of cute, despite the dreaded BUBBLE HEM. Don't leave me a million comments telling me how O-U-T bubble hems are, the lovely Touche19 already told me (hi, Touche19!) and I know they are, and actually I loathe them...but this dress is so cute. I probably won't wear it when I leave in a few minutes, but actually, why the hell not? I mean, I might as well. It's a pretty nice dress. Anyway, I've also got on loaned lace-up ballet flats and a loaned purse. Is anything I'm wearing mine? Besides the unmentionables? Er, no.