I went to see the Basquiat retrospective, Boom for Real @barbicancentre the other day. The first time I experienced Jean Michel Basquiat’s work in real life was a retrospective at MoCA, Los Angeles in 2005. Being in front of those works for a few hours was a transformative experience – I felt interior, inter-dimensional shifts as I witnessed his textured poetry. The Barbican show frames his work around the mystique/lifestyle/hype/rise-to-stardom/white artist associations of JMB. This gave me a lot of distracting emotions as I tried to engage with many of the same works that had me swirling twelve years ago when I was less aware of the hype. Been processing thoughts and feelings with BPOC creative friends @yea.mattie @marcarcass @ck.in2 @uliyaxo @x.balla. About the (posthumous-) consumption of Black experience for profit by those without it. About the career benefits of social, collaborative, romantic, intimate proximity to whiteness (& of course other privileges) whilst making work related to ‘marginalised experience(s)’. About race, specifically blackness, intersecting with (normative ideals of) physical beauty, desirability, charm and masculinity. And personally about how to float above the drowning whiteness of the art/world whilst prioritising interpersonal exchanges of buoyancy with others trying to swim. #basquiat #boomforreal #cultoftheartist #fameandmisfortune #famousblackartist #posthumousprofit #desire #hope #thoughtsandfeelings #survivalstrategies

(at Barbican Centre)