“How to Look at a Basquiat” (New York Times, April 27, 2022): “One thing in particular that’s easier to see in “Art and Objecthood” than in the overwhelming visual cacophony of “King Pleasure” is how conservatively Basquiat organized the elements of his paintings. The sheer profusion of marks can be misleading, but if you recognize the scratches and scrawls of “Minor Success,” for example, as providing a texture rather than so many pieces of separate information, you’ll see that the arrangement of crown, face and car couldn’t be more straightforward.”
“Straightforward” compositional engagement is one of my annoying struggles. Right now I am working to become more “straightforward.” For me, this is acceptance. I have long fought traditional compositional norms; Basquiat did not do that; from the onset Basquiat embraced traditional graphic composition; Basquiat recognized the power of tried and true graphic composing, its power to immediately engage viewers. I am learning; the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat teaches me well.
"Getting It" means simplifying the message to purity; so pure that it cannot be misunderstood.
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