This is the exhibituion i remember most of all the exhibitions we visited during the last decade. It was a “one of a kind” event, which will never be repeated at such a scale. The exhibition covered over 100 Basquiat paintings and certainly not the smallest of them all. The entire FONDATION BEYELER ( except the Giacometti/Monet room) was devoted to one of the greatest of all painters from the 20th Century. At the time i had the foresight to take some extra Beyeler publicity folders with me and now i have decided to sell 3 of those to collectors. For this original publicity folder please take a look at www.ftn-books.com
For me Hélène Delprat is the french equivalent of Jean-Michel Basquiat. She has the same free approach to what a good painting is as basquiat had and with this perspective on painting she has developed a style of her own. recognizable and appealing to many, but certainly not to all. I like what she does and beside the publications which are available at www.ftn-books.com, i still have a wish to one day acquire a drawing by Delprat. Ther were several editions done by galerie Ameght in the eighties and nineties, but recent works are harder to find by the year. Here is Delprat interviewed at her exhibition at Caen:
This blog is how i experience books and art and what i read about them and this is certainly an article i want to share with you. The guardian did an excellent article on Basquiat and his Fahion style/ A style which looks random , but was a well thought out way of dressing… Hooray for the Guardian. Here is the article and do not forget that www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on Jean-Michel Basquiat.
There’s an image of Jean-Michel Basquiat on the cover of the New York Times magazine from 1985. The photo is by Lizzie Himmel; the headline New Art, New Money. The artist, wearing a dark Giorgio Armani suit, white shirt and tie, leans back in a chair, one bare foot on the floor, the other up on a chair. The combination of the suit and the bare feet is typical of the way Basquiat defined his own image; always with an unconventional bent.
I’ve obsessed over his style when standing in front of Hollywood Africans, a 1983 work from a series where the images relate to stereotypes of African Americans in the entertainment business. It is a banger of a painting and will form part of Basquiat: Boom for Real, a retrospective opening at the Barbican in London this month.
I have a longstanding interest in the way artists dress, from Picasso to Hockney, Georgia O’Keeffe to Robert Rauschenberg, and I think their wardrobes exert as powerful an influence on mainstream fashion as those of any rock or Hollywood stars. These artists carved out instantly recognisable uniforms: clothes that symbolise the same singular point of view as their greatest works, usually with the sense of complete ease that is the holy grail of true style.
Basquiat’s wardrobe was distinctive, whether he was in mismatched blazer and trousers with striped shirt and clashing tie, or patterned shirt with a leather jacket pushed off his shoulders. He was perhaps most recognisable in his paint-splattered Armani suits. “I loved the fact that he chose to wear Armani. And loved even more that he painted in my suits,” Giorgio Armani says. “I design clothes to be worn, for people to live in, and he certainly did!”
In many ways, this bricolage approach to clothing is akin to the way he created his art. “His work was a mysterious combination of elements – text and colour, historical reference, abstraction and figurative techniques,” Armani says. “In his life, he also mashed up creative activities – he was a graffiti artist, a musician, an actor, a maker of great artworks. This eclecticism made him a mysterious and unconventional man. That mix made him stand out.”
“He was an incredibly stylish artist,” says Barbican curator Eleanor Nairne. “He was very playful about the performative aspects of identity.” He was also aware of the “renewed fixation on celebrity” that coincided with the art boom of the 80s, particularly in New York. He famously appeared in Blondie’s Rapture video, dated Madonna and befriended Andy Warhol.
Cathleen McGuigan, who wrote that 1985 New York Times feature, recounts Basquiat at the hip Manhattan hangout Mr Chow’s, drinking kir royal and chatting to Keith Haring while Warhol dined with Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran nearby. “He attracted the attention of Warhol and Bowie, so was endorsed by those who had already achieved that rare style-icon status,” Armani says. “And he had a very unique look – he had hair as distinctive as Warhol’s and wore suits in a way as stylish and relaxed as Bowie.”
Basquiat went on to model in a 1987 Comme des Garçons show wearing a pale blue suit, black buckle sandals, white shirt and white bow tie. Robert Johnston, style director at British GQ, describes Basquiat’s style as “a work of art in itself” and adds: “While meaning no disrespect to his talent, it is hard to imagine he would have taken New York so much by storm if he’d looked more like Francis Bacon.”
Basquiat’s influence on menswear is still felt today. While other icons have referenced his style – Kanye West sported a T-shirt bearing his portrait, Frank Ocean namechecked him in lyrics by Jay-Z, who dressed as him for a Halloween party – there is a more direct effect on fashion. There have been collaborations, via his estate, with the likes of Reebok and Supreme. There’s a photo of Basquiat wearing an Adidas T-shirt with a pinstripe suit which is a template for how the younger generation approach the idea of tailoring. At the S/S 18 shows in Milan, wonky ties with suiting at Marni made me jot down “Basquiat” in my notebook. And with the Barbican show his influence will spread. “The way Basquiat mixed classic tailoring with a downtown nonchalance fits the mood in menswear,” says Jason Hughes, fashion editor of Wallpaper*. “A refined suit worn with an unironed shirt, skewwhiff tie and beaten-up sneakers. The fact that he painted in those suits feels slightly anarchic and nonconformist. I want to wear a suit like that.”
This article appears in the autumn/winter 2017 edition of The Fashion, the Guardian and the Observer’s biannual fashion supplement
Yesterday i participated in an auction in which around 15 lots by Anton Heyboer were offered. Some of them were sold but most of them were “unsold” /held up and prices stayed all below their estimates. During the auction the auctioneer urged her audience to go to the Anton Heyboer exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum and since after my lunch i had a spare half hour, i stopped at the museum and visited the Heyboer exhibition. The museum has a long history with Heyboer , because in his early years as a curator for the Museum , Hans Locher organized exhibitions on Heyboer and visited him frequently in his studio in Den Ilp, resulting in purchases and the start of a brilliant Heyboer collection. Later on Heyboer’s works became less and less important . This is the time when he started as a more commercial artist and sold his works across the street in Den Ilp, in a gallery run by his 5th wife.
But yesterday when i visited the exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag ( Heyboer is on show until the 4th of February 2018) i was overwhelmed by the quality of its works from the sixties and seventies. I knew the etchings from the collection quite well, but the paintings were an eyeopener for me and i compared them immediately with the experience i had when i saw similar kind of paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat in the Beyeler Museum some years ago.
There are many similarities between these two artists and their paintings and when you realize that most of these were made 20 to 25 years before Basquiat made his works you can only admire the Heyboer’s even more. I like this Heyboer exhibition very much and for me it is one of the best the Gemeentemuseum organized in the last 5 years.
and of course there are some nice Heyboer publications available at www.ftn-books.com
Yesterday il learned that one of the icons in the dutch gallery scene has died. Hans Sonnenberg founded Delta gallery in Rotterdam, which opened its doors on 8 January 1962 and it was the first gallery in Rotterdam that concentrated exclusively on contemporary art. The role that Hans Sonnenberg played as gallery owner and collector in the Rotterdam art world cannot be overestimated. He succeeded time and again in bringing international developments to the harbour city. In addition, he was aware of the importance of a platform for Rotterdam artists. Sonnenberg has run Delta for an uninterrupted period of fifty years. In his opinion, the gallery owner should ideally be closely connected with the gallery. “The gallery and the gallery owner are one. They call me Mister Delta, but Delta is Hans Sonnenberg”, says the gallery owner in a recent publication. www.ftn-books.com has some nice gallery Delta publications available.
The painting UNTITLED sold yesterday at Sotheby’s at a record price of over 110 million dollars. With this result it is the record holder of being the highest auction result by an American artist (until now). This result reminded me of the exhibition i have seen some seven years ago in the Beyeler museum.
In all my life this was for me one of the most important exhibitions i have ever seen. A really impressive overview of his paintings and good fortune for me to have seen it, because with auction results like this it will be almost impossible to organize any Basquiat exhibition in the future. Still, some more affordable Basquiat items are available at www.ftn-books.com
Keith Haring had one of his first European exhibitions within the Stedelijk Museum and for this occasion he made a very large ceiling piece/ the VELUM ( 1986), which was there during the exhibitions and for some time after, but….. since the exhibition i have never seen it again! Of course it is possible i have missed it, because i dit not visit the Stedelijk Museum each day i went to Amsterdam, but it is strange that in 30 years i never have seen it again. It was an extremely large piece by Haring and should be one of the key objects within any collection, because it represents everything the art of Keith Haring has become famous for. I checked the site of the Stedelijk Museum , but could not find it in the collection. Any readers who can help?
The site Widewalls has an excellent description why Keith Haring is important and was one of the key figures in the Grafiti art movement.
The 1990s were a time of change for many social and cultural aspects on a global scale. Art particularly saw many artists bring tremendous change in this period, and Keith Haring was one of them. Drawing and painting murals in public locations, Haring was often philosophical about his approach to creating artwork, and was amazed and inspired by the interaction and feedback he would get from people around him. Although he was young, he had developed a very specific concept of what art should represent, and the ideology carried over through his work would leave an everlasting effect on the street culture in New York City, as well as art as a whole. Along with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, Futura 2000 and Richard Hambleton, among others, he was part of the young, up-and-coming group of the American artists who challenged art’s old perceptions.
Fortunately the publications on Haring at www.ftn-books.com did not disappear ( but they can get sold out).
Yesterday, i had a short story on the Jean Michel Basquiat Retrospective in the Beyeler Museum. The next day, after that visit we visited the Tinguely Museum in the same city of Basel. The Tinguely Museum is not to be missed and is a museum which will appeal to young and old, because many of the works on display are interactive and can be turned on or off by the public. The Museum shop had something very special at that time…..they had in operation the original Meta-Matic No. 10 by Jean Tinguely which could be operated by the public. Only condition…..buy a sheet of paper and a token with the Tinguely shop.
The paper was the original right size and had a museumstamp on the back to certify the drawing.
The choice of colors was with the buyer of the drawing, but the progress itself was purely automated by the machine. One placed a color in the holder, let the machine do its work for a few seconds, placed a different color and let it work again……and so on. Until the time was up ( i remember it was about 2 minutes in total). A rare occasion on which me, my wife and my sister in law all made drawings. All drawings were certified by the Museum with a stamp on the back.
I bought some extra drawings for my FTN collection and these are now for sale at
Some years later we returned to the Tinguely museum, because we had seen some lovely Modern Art over there. Asking about the Meta-Matic No. 10 we learned that it had been removed from the shop area and was now in revision, because of the wear it had when used for making these drawings. My guess is these drawings at FTN-books are about the last drawings that will be for sale.
In any case they are very interesting to look at and to see what kind of abstract drawing a Tinguely machine can make.
Born in 1960, the time Andy Warhol would become hugely popular with his Factory, Basquiat spend his childhood years in Brooklyn. But at the time he was 24 he had become “Brothers in Art” with the great Warhol himself.
If ever you have seen a Basquiat exhibition you must agree that his paintings do not stop to impress. The sheer size, the power, the typical and highly recognizable way he paints…..it is all Basquiat. Perhaps the success destroyed the person Basquiat, but his paintings never disappoint. You might even argue that it is fortunate that Basquiat died at such a young age, but at the same time with such a small production in 10 years you will never be disappointed by his art. His art is of a constant high level, always original in its appearance, has its own “language” and technique and many of the great collectors of Modern Art consider a Basquiat as one of the ultimate collection additions.( but only a few of them can buy because of its price).
It was about 6 years ago is visited the Basquiat exhibition in the Beyeler Museum / Basel and was blown away by it. the Beyeler is a small Museum ( but one of the most amazing ones in Europe) and it must have been at least 3 times i looked at all the paintings before i left the museum. If you ask …what was your favorite exhibition in the last 10 years….this is it. A Rare occasion to see so many of the greatest Basquiat paintings in one location. If ever you have achance to visit a Basquiat exhibition do not hesitate, plan your trip or make a detour because these paintings are very impressive.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20