"He died right here", RGS said, as he leaned on the door of Jean-Michel Basquiat's studio in Soho. He began to cry. I bowed my head in silence and allowed this moment to be between the two friends. After a few minutes, RGS began to tell me about the artist's story. He loved this man. My ears were perked because I wanted to know at least 0.00001% of Basquiat's 27 years. To know something about him during his window of life was fascinating to me. One point struck me and it stayed in my memory. This was in Spring 2009, so my memory may have convoluted our conversation. To keep to the truth but remain vague, Basquiat had a set schedule. Although he was a heroin addict, he had a definitive regime, and gave himself vacation time.
RGS also said that he was at Basquiat's grave when an elderly woman said to him that she saw him as nothing but a drug addict. I don't remember RGS' response. Perhaps one day I could email him and ask. In my opinion, yes. He was. So was Cobain, McQueen, YSL, some of the all time greatest artists in the world. I was perplexed and asked my friend Jonny why genius creators overdose on drugs. He said that every artist has to have some form of depression to create such beautiful things. He said that most artists have it. I related that to myself. Yes, I have it too although I never took it to that extreme. So maybe I'm not a true artist, although I have to say my mood fluctuates quite a bit. Instead of drugs I just beat the crap out of a heavy bag or run until I feel like throwing up. Then I feel better.
Anyway, here's my point to this post. After watching the Haute Couture shows, I felt a cloud ride over my head. I set an expectation and was searching for a spark that didn't ignite. Well, what does inspire me? Basquiat for one. When I walked into the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2005, I was blown away. Ever since then, he stayed in a small compartment in my mind and my heart. I don't know if I can base it on his work ethic but I'll try. However, I will create a design on how I felt that day when I first saw his works of art up close. Emotion is like water. There is no pattern or rhyme or reason to when it moves. A Tsunami will just hit without any notice. Only the animals can sense it. I'll check back in a week with an update.
|Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1985. Photograph © Lizzie Himmel|