On Saturday, February 7th I had the chance to check out the “Basquiat Now” exhibit on it’s opening night at AGO and it was awesome!
This is his first full exhibit in Canada and if you’re in the Toronto area, I recommend checking it out. Considering it was such a busy night (including a dance party with BBoys/BGirls, DJ and a packed house), we decided against the audio accompaniment, but that might be a good idea during a less busy visit. Having seen the work of great artists like Monét when I was younger, I was definitely excited to take in this exhibit.
Many have heard of Jean-Michel Basquiat in recent years through his mentions via Jay Z, collaborative projects (his estate) with Supreme (and/or Reebok) or other mainstream outlets and I can assure you that his work is deserving of a visit to the AGO. His many collaborations with Warhol instantly show you his level of skill and highly respected artistry, I was pleasantly surprised with the number of pieces they did together that are currently on display.
One of my favourite things of the gallery are the quotes and informational tidbits that are posted beside some of the pieces, including 2 quotes from Jay Z’s infamous “Grammy Family” Freestyle on Hot 97.
“Inspired by Basquiat, my chariot’s on fire/ Everybody took shots, hit my body up, I’m tired” – Jay Z
One thing that I found odd is that the title they gave Jay Z was “rapper”, which is definitely an understatement, but I get it, it’s just a quote not an autobiography.
Back to Basquiat..
His pieces are edgy, sophisticated and socially conscious while still being very raw, expressive and to the point.
“My subject matters are royalty, heroism and the streets” – Basquiat
If you haven’t been to the exhibit (or want to go again), I’m giving away a 35% off Friends & Family card (valid for up to 6 guests from now until April 27)! Just be the first person to tweet me @SolePurpose #NowIsTheTimeForBasquiat
The exhibit is running until May 10, 2015 and the AGO hours/directions are located here:
Photography was prohibited in the actual exhibit, but I think that’s for the better because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I snapped some pics below inside and around the AGO, so check them out.
Make sure you use the hashtag #BasquiatAGO when you go and let me know what you think!
Special thanks to “Flowers” for taking me to see all that #art!