Sunday, 26 January 2014

Figuratively Naked

What a surprise these photos are!

Yes - Jean-Michel Basquiat as a reclining nude. If these days it is no longer unusual to see an artist naked (think Marina Abramovich or even Ai Wei Wei), it is probablt because they use their bodies for their art like so many (other) entertainers. Which is why these shots are different. Taken by a former girlfriend of Basquiat and forgotten for over 30 years, they show the painter both literally and figuratively naked. The nudity here is not a costume or a means to an end. It simply reveals intimacy and carries with it a reflection of Basquiat's short life: After turning away to light a cigarette and smiling into the camera with a mix of glee and discomfort, all that remains is an inward look and a few scattered drawings. 

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