First Saturdays are when a large majority of Brooklyn locals flock to the Brooklyn Museum for a night of entertainment and culture. Black masculinity and the socialization of black men in America were themes in some of the popular exhibits of the night. I’ve been hearing rave reviews about Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic so I decided to go.
I discovered Basquiat’s Notebooks before heading to Kehinde Wiley. I am so happy this happened. The exhibit just opened the day before and it was a very high profile one. Everyone wanted to get a glimpse into the mind of Basquiat. As you walk in you are graced with a video of Basquiat working in his element of street art and graffiti. I became entranced as I watched this video of a young artist spray painting words that obviously had a deeper meaning behind it- THE WHOLE LIVERY LINE BOW LIKE THIS WITH THE BIG MONEY… He had on a long trench coat and wild natural hair. He looked modern, like someone I would meet in the Lower East Side today.
I walked into the exhibit and noticed that, as the name details, this exhibit would be a display of his notebooks throughout the years. I rubbed my head trying to figure out the depth behind his words. Was it to be analyzed or were his notes just like any other person jotting down things he viewed in the world. How was his notebook’s art? His words were simple; some were poetic. He obviously appreciated his heritage and wanted blacks to be the focal point of his art–the heroes. He also wanted us to pay attention to the words he crossed out. According to him, “I cross out words, so you will see them more. The fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.”
Continue reading “A Lesson in Culture and Black Masculinity”