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Jean-Michel Basquiat
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/27/2020

Carlo McCormick on 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation'

Jean-Michel Basquiat's "In Italian" (1983) is reproduced from Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, one of the most vibrant exhibition catalogs of the year, and maybe the decade. An exploration of how hip-hop culture and graffiti electrified the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his contemporaries in 1980s New York, "this is the story of the stories that were told, with tremendous urgency and at great peril, when no one seemed to listen or to care what these kids had to say," Carlo McCormick writes in his superb essay. 'It’s about a time, long ago now for even those of us who lived through it, when fantastical urban myths were spun and legends were born. Yes, it’s about the fame of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fab 5 Freddy’s social fabrics, Futura’s atmospheric attacks, the cult hero Lee, and the equation known as Rammellzee. It’s also about the diverse evolution of graffiti into a radical ornamentation of Gothic Futurism as well as the kind of visual poetics and narrative force unleashed when a relatively few graffiti writers understood they could say so much more than their names. But it is also about the conversation and connectivity that spun a web of intricate social interface and influence within a small but dense creative community over a remarkably short period of time. It’s about how the word was spread and splayed, transmitted, transmuted and transgressed along the way into a wild style of rapid and radical hybridity. If history does rhyme but not repeat, let’s try to imagine how a generation set loose on the dance floor–street corner–playground could suddenly find a shared beat and mutual dialect with the gatekeepers of high art in the 1980s. Individuals may assert their singularity—their individual class, race, identity—but in the density of the city at this moment, they moved together."

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation

MFA PUBLICATIONS, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
Hbk, 9.5 x 10.75 in. / 200 pgs / 200 color.

$50.00  free shipping




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