I’ve been looking forward for this exhibition since the moment I read about it last year.
It was a happy coincidence to visit it with a specific set of questions to answer to as they worked as a canvas for my reflection.
The entire experience started in a negative note, when after buying the tickets we had to wait 1 hour to get in…bags where not allowed, or pens. No photography… at some point I thought they wouldn’t allow sketchbooks…I though it was just too much, something wasn’t quite right. And I truly disliked being there. The pretentiousness level was high and affected the staff and visitors.
Type: Berthold, sans (1898) by Hoffman. Why did they choose this type? Don’t know. They could easily have adopted Futura and it would make more sense to me. Anyways.
Colour: White, Grey, Black, touch of yellow.
Visual elements: Non existing.
Wayfinding: Terrible! 1 small sign in the entire exhibition, badly positioned in a dark area.
Handout: Small A6 booklet, containing the same text that was on the walls. It made me feel the laziness.
Work Caption: Too long.
Way of hanging work, benches: Nothing to add, really. bland
After this experience I felt like I needed to understand Basquiat better. So I’ve did a quick research and found this article in NY Times… It was incredibly more informative than the entire exhibition.
I believe Barbican ignored the main issue around Basquiat and the art “scene”that shaped him. The commoditization of art, the lack of ideology by Warhol that ultimately influenced Basquiat, and clearly destroyed him and many artists that followed that formula. Basquiat lost many years of development and the possibility of truly changing the art scene for black artists to come. It’s quite a sad story, that was chosen not to be approached. Instead we’ve got a sterile environment and a shallow and scared approach.