Jean-Michel Basquiat in Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

With an Haitian father and mother from Puerto Rico, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) always defended its origins in the streets of Brooklyn, where he was born and raised, marking their facades, underground hydrants, their cars, walls, Dumpsters with paintings. He just turned 18, when he signed as SAMO (Same old shit, "the same old shit") and stood among teenagers in the neighborhood for his intellectual and artistic skills, skills that transformed their graffiti on allegations against social inequalities, by the defense of disadvantaged minorities, true graphic files on the harshness of the time in that city.
Panel de expertos, 1982.
 
 
His first solo exhibition, at age 21, showed those same lines, colors, this young and gifted nerve in dozens of large paintings, objects, papers, being the first graffiti artist (... with Keith Haring) on ??exhibit in a gallery Art, opening new doors to Fine Arts and all contemporary art. The show was a success and all the pieces were sold.
 
In 1982 he participated in Documenta VII and the Whitney Biennial and was in those years when the clever Andy Warlhol adopted him as fetish and they became inseparable, they portrayed each other and signed a friendship / admiration that transcends both. Basquiat's reputation grew as they performed exhibitions in North America and Europe; soon he became a prolific artist and media personality in the cultural field.
Andy Warhol y Basquiat.
 
 
Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now is the time, is an exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, explores some of the most important issues of the innovative work of Basquiat over a hundred paintings and drawings by the artist, ordered for the first time from a thematic perspective.
 
The exhibition is articulated in 8 sections: The street as a studio, Heroes and saints (homage to the "black man"), Claiming stories, Reflex (dedicated to racist episodes of his time, slavery), Dualities and double identity, Playing to cheat: drawings and provocations, a seventh section with collaborations with Warhol, Francesco Clemente, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf, and finally, Sampling and scratching. Music, words and collage, their sources of inspiration.

Moises y los egipcios, 1982.

 

His artistic perspective, in which Basquiat fit their entire universe, African-American history, his musical tastes, jazz, street drugs, friends, sports, news, through symbols, text, shapes and images Sometimes seemingly unrelated ... it continues to inspire many current artists and continues to pose to the viewer an invitation to think critically about the world around us.

Los seis de Crimea, 1982.

El hombre de Nápoles, 1982.

 

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.