Jean-Michel Basquiat, RIP

P1020382We had the opportunity to visit a few more of the graves of artists in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery today. Among them is the grave of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Placed in a row that looks as if it used to be a foot-path, we found momentos placed on the gravestone including a Basquiat stamp, a drawing, coins and a personal note. With perhaps the only exception being the grave of Leonard Bernstein, you can clearly feel a strong connection between the living and dead. It also brought to mind these lyrics from the Bing Crosby song Dancing in the Dark.

“Dancing in the dark Till the tune ends,
We’re dancing in the dark and it soon ends,
We’re waltzing in the wonder of why we’re here,
Time hurries by, we’re here and gone.”

 

More artist grave photos from Green-Wood Cemetery.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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