Basquiat's “Defacement”: The Untold Story
Basquiat's “Defacement”: The Untold Story at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum curated by Chaédria LaBouvier.
Graffiti is the defining art form of our collective's work. Defacement was another term for graffiti in 1980s New York. The alleged police charge of graffiti tagging laid at the center of the tragic, unjust death of artist Michael Stewart.
Staged atop the Guggenheim spiral, “Defacement” culminates a larger institutional exhibition recognition of the absences of diverse artists in the canon and their museum collection. “Defacement” materializes the lived intersection of the societal marginalization of Basquiat (1960-1988) and his subject matter, Michael Stewart (1958-1983) as Black artists. What remains is the uneasy, gilded-framed truth of the ongoing resonance of Basquiat's painting and the active public pieces of commemoration and protest by Stewart's peers. Ultimately, the untold story that matters is Stewart's - the dances he would have performed, the photographs he would have taken, and the shows he would have staged.
On View: June 21, 2019-November 6, 2019