February 9, 2013

Basquiat and Fashion Week

I have been doing the "gallery crawl" each Thursday night for a few years now. In all that time I've never waited in a line longer than 3 minutes to get into a gallery. Thursday night my friend Anne-Marie and I waited for 35 minutes to get into the Basquiat opening. The line was halfway down the block. It was a scene. Anybody and everybody in the art world was there. I'm not a fan of Basquiat's work but it was a pretty spectacular show. Thinking he has ZERO technical ability, I actually started to like some of the trademark scribbles and scratches. In "art talk" he's labeled a "primitivist." I personally think he had very little talent as a painter and his whole fame was manufactured by the Warhol machine. He looked cool, acted cool and hung out with the right people--end of story. Give a graffiti artist a studio, a bunch of paint and canvases and let him go crazy. Which is exactly what Larry Gagosian did back in the 80s. Convince everyone he's a genius, create the hype and inflate the prices. Then, like with Hendrix, death is great boon to one's career. Even though Hendrix, unlike Basquiat, actually was a genius.

Evidently having sudden fame and money didn't work for young Jean-Michel because he died of a heroin overdose at age 27. Now his paintings fetch upwards of $10-16 million. He has probably rolled over in his grave many, many times. 

It being Fashion Week, today I shot the Kate Spade presentation in Chelsea. The models posed next to three vintage Checker cabs as editors and photographers walked among them sipping fresh squeezed orange juice and nibbling on a variety of breakfast bites like fresh fruit, mini omelettes, salmon and caviar. A wonderful way to spend a morning....

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