You were going to try to sleep but you stopped to read this.
What was that choice predicated on?
I hear murmuring coming from outside.
Shadows flit out of the window frame.
There’s a scrabbling at the window up front. Something muffled at the door.
What was that choice?
Maybe you should have taken the other option?
But here you are now.
What I’m Reading, or: What I Just Finished Reading (a continuing series)
Basquiat’s Defacement: The Untold Story / Chaedria LeBouvier, et al. (2019)
Four essays and a slew of personal recollections are the foundation of this exhibition catalogue. LeBouvier and Greg Tate’s essays are indispensible when reading about Basquiat, especially about his work focused on police brutality. The centerpiece in both the book and installation was “Defacement,” about the brutal beating and eventual murder of Michael Stewart, a developing artist and New York east side scenester in September of 1983.
Tate’s essay is an update of his seminal 1992 essay “Black Like B:”
“I find it impossible to discuss Basquiat’s art without talking about white supremacy, and it’s victimization of him, even and especially after death … Maybe, like his detractors, I find him easier to handle now, just another dead black genius.”
Copious plates and illustrations make this more than the typical exhibition catalogue.
“Listen to me. I am telling you
a true thing. This is the only kingdom.
The kingdom of touching;
the touches of the disappearing, things”
— Aracelis Girmay / “Elegy”