She’s wearing a crown, donning images of colorful paintings that now cost millions of dollars, and she has her hair arranged in an X, who is she? Basquiat Barbie, of course.
The newest body dysmorphia-inducing plastic toy for children uses the work of renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat to transform artistic practice into yet another trinket to buy. [The Barbie body type occurs in less than 1 in 100,000 adult women, though Ken, on the other hand, is more realistic at about 1 in 50 adult men.]
What’s peculiar about this Barbie is that it resembles the socialites that frequent blue chip openings of Basquiat’s painting more than the artist himself. In product shots, the doll is set against a generic-looking “SoHo” backdrop, complete with colorful graffiti and cast-iron storefronts. This is Basquiat-collector-triumphant, not the artist.
Some of his most famous works appear on the doll’s suit: the hair is styled like the artist’s expressionist locks, and the crown is, of course, his ubiquitous symbol — Basquiat’s image and work reduced to the most recognizable parts.
The release of this doll reminded me of J. Faith Almiron’s excellent essay on the 2019 Basquiat exhibition at the Brandt Foundation. Here’s the kicker:
Beyond the high volume and overwhelming demand, Basquiat exhibitions diversify the demography of its attendees. Unlike any other artist before or since, Basquiat invites everybody into the museum — art nerds, hip-hop heads, immigrant kids, post-colonial ex-pats, rebels young and old, everyday Black and Brown folk, thirsty celebrities, and indeed rich white people too. Basquiat hails you to revel in his glorious defiance, then take a piss on the walls of an oppressor.
The Basquiat Barbie is retailing for $50, and I have a feeling a lot of collectors’ kids will be getting one.
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Who says tragedy has to be tragic? Co-presented with National Black Theatre, this fresh, Pulitzer-winning take on a classic centers Black joy and liberation.
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For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
Imelda Marcos and her husband were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the country.
Probably not, but it sure looks like one.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
I won’t bother you with talk about how obscenely decadent and out of touch the Frieze art fair is. And yet…
Curators Tahnee Ahtone, La Tanya S. Autry, Frederica Simmons, Dan Cameron, and Jeremy Dennis offered the public a window into their curatorial processes through the work they produced during their fellowships.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Jeremy Dennis presents an exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.