Exhibit Showcases Basquiat as a Teenager

Posted on: April 27th, 2018 at 5:05 am by

Al Diaz writing SAMO

Howl! Happening has a pretty cool showcase on the horizon.

Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat, is a group exhibition honing in on the artists and scene around poetic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s teenaged, pre-fame years. When he was known as one-half of the informal graffiti duo SAMO, who wrote suggestive political dichotomies throughout the Lower East Side. (The other half being Al Diaz.)

Curated by Howl! Happening, Sara Driver, Carlo McCormick, and Mary-Ann Monforton, Zeitgeist also coincides with the upcoming theatrical release of Sara Driver’s film BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, from Magnolia Pictures. The film is slated to premiere May 11 at IFC, New York.

The timeframe covered in both the exhibition and film tells the story of Jean-Michel’s early work, his peers, and the creative community he ran with – gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York – before the rise of popularized 80s art and the Lower Manhattan real estate explosion. The exhibition – along with a series of special events – sheds light onto Basquiat’s work and that of his friends and other artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians who emerged from that scene.

Special events will include:

    • A panel discussion featuring Alexis Adler, Felice Rosser, Lee Quiñones, Al Diaz, and more
    • A screening of Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary Burroughs: The Movie from the Criterion Collection
    • An evening of films featuring an experimental film by Basquiat’s bandmate Michael Holman, with a soundtrack by Gray, the band he and Basquiat formed; David Schmidlapp’s film of Walter Steding playing beneath the Brooklyn Bridge; and Paul Tschinkel’s film about New York/New Wave, curator Diego Cortez’s groundbreaking exhibition at PS1 in 1981
    • A performance by Felice Rosser
    • Readings
    • A special series of film screenings in collaboration with Anthology Film Archives

The exhibit opens Sunday May 13, from 6-8pm, and runs through June 10.  More info at Howl! Happening.

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