Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Just returned from the annual KCRW Angel party, held this year at MOCA. Although there were a decent number of reasonably hot, well-to-do L.A.-edition hipster women, the real attraction was Basquiat.

I swear by the flick and was dying to see the assemblage of over 100 pieces in the flesh.

Was not disappointed. The pieces need to be viewed in person to truly be appreciated for their texture, complexity and composition. Sure, not all of them are significant (or even remarkable), however the handful of mindblowing masterpieces are must sees.

The one depressing, although essential, aspect of the exhibition is its chronolgogical organization of Basquiat's works. While we are able to see JM burn white hot in '82 & '83, as he reached the pinnacle of both his productivity and creativity, we are also forced to see his slow decline into '86 and the subsequent freefall of chaotic hoplessness that characterized the limited output of '87 (the year Warhol died) up through his death in August '88. Frankly, the haphazard, un-Basquiat like quality of the works in the penultimate gallery (thankfully the exhibition ends on a retrospective high note) made me think he was incoherently throwing some paint at a canvas in order to trade for some smack. What a fucking waste.

Incidentally, it feels as if half of the exhibition comes from Peter Brant's collection. Not only does the man own dozens of outstanding works, he gets to fuck Stephanie Seymour (albeit not what she used to be, but still...). My friends, that is what we call Livin'.

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