A new exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was curated with one famous piece at its center: Basquiat’s “The Death of Michael Stewart” (informally known as “Defacement”).
The new exhibit titled Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold Story, focuses on the themes expressed in Jean-Michel Basquiat “Defacement” and the cultural activism in NYC during the early 1980s. The piece was originally painted by Basquiat on the wall of Keith Haring’s studio “in 1983 to commemorate the fate of the young, black artist Michael Stewart at the hands of New York City transit police after allegedly tagging a wall in an East Village subway station.”
Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold Story will feature about twenty works of art by both Basquiat and other artists of his generation. It’ll also feature material related to Michael Stewart’s death like the protest posters by Keith Haring, his diary, and samples of artwork from Stewart’s estate.
The exhibit will examine “Basquiat’s exploration of black identity, his protest against police brutality, and his attempts to craft a singular aesthetic language of empowerment.” As the press release adds: “The works on view by Basquiat further illustrate his engagement with state authority as well as demonstrate his adaptation of crowns as symbols for the canonization of historical black figures.”
This exhibition will run from June 21st through November 6th.
Also published on Medium.