Red Ballon Links




Autor: KaM©

~ 21/12/10

When I first heard about this film, I was quite skeptical about its release and my first reaction was to write a not so flattering blind opinion concerning its content. After actually seening the movie and I have to retract some of my earlier statements in my first article and commend its director for setting the record straight about the life of the artist.
I highly reccomend this film if you want to get a personal understanding of a briliant young painter who left us with a lot to contemplate for centuries to come.
Here’s my new review I wrote which appeared first in Out In Jersey magazine; “Excellent, powerful, informative and heartfelt if I had to use the typical film critic’s adjectives to describe this intimate portrayal of Jean-Michel Basquiat the infamous bad boy of contemporary art.
There are many parallels between Jean-Michel and myself he was only three years my senior and when I first encountered him in Washington Square Park I modeled myself after him not really knowing who he was until he graced the cover of the New York Times magazine then I realized we shared the same dream, to become a respected artist,and,to meet Andy Warhol which Jean-Michel actually did,beating me to it and becoming very close friends with him.

The film is based on an Interview and footage taken of the artist working and examples of his amazing paintings & drawings twenty years ago at the peak of his notoriety with Interviews with some of the artist’s friends and art dealers. I give the producer Tamra Davis kudos for preserving such a treasure for the world to take a peak into the life of someone who broke down barriers and set a new benchmark for the contemporary art world to achieve.
It is a time capsule into life of a very driven young man who didn’t have the necessary tools to deal with fame and fortune at such a meteoric rate of speed. A wonderful compliment to the two fictional films “Basquiat” by Julian Schnabel and “Downtown 81”produced my Maripol for a complete understanding of the most famous African American artist in the world today.

Film credits: Director & Producer Tamra Davis
93 minutes + extras; Catalogue # NNVG225071; $29.95
This film is available through Arthouse Films HYPERLINK “” and New Video HYPERLINK “”

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Autor: KaM©

~ 04/12/10

REPLAY – Vinyl Sculpture and the DIY movement.

DIY- toy/sculptures

The question what is art is still on going in the postmodern contemporary world, first brought to our consciousness by Marcel Duchamp with his ready made objects and later expanded on by Andy Warhol who during the third faze his career created with the assistance from his nephew James Warhola, a series of paintings titled “Do it Yourself” that appeared to be large paint by number paintings found in local 5 & 10¢ stores complete with numbers to represent colors to be used in areas indicated by the numerals.

Using consumerism and popular culture as subject matter begs to ask the question, when is a work of art, not a work of art? And, in one of his (Warhol) final series of work before his untimely death in1987 the toy became of interest to him and, by using images of Howdy Doody, tin toy robots, rocket ships and model trains he turned the toy — as subject, into works of high art.

In the mid to late 1990’s in Japan the art form  Anime & Manga as well as designer custom made toys became a global underground movement that Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has utilized in his pop culture work to create large figurative sculpture and paintings with menacing characters instead of happy joyful ones that derive from western culture, the most obvious being Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse which we associate with fantasy and fun but in the United States artist were also responding to the dreamy innocent cartoon images produced by film studios and fusing it with hot rod culture(model car kits), comic books, pinup girls and tattoo body art known today as pop surrealism.

My works of art appear to be toy like in their presentation and technically can be enjoyed as such, but they are much more than that and express an acute awareness of our pleasure of object idolatry and our sense of worship or play but also, a nostalgia for innocence.
They are to be placed on shelves or pedestals where they are to be admired as sculptures subconsciously signaling a desire to be touched, and provoke interaction.

These sculptures continue the dialog about what art is but do not represent or symbolize a finite answer to the high art versus low art argument, instead they address the issue of what is valued in adulthood versus the pure imagination and values in the minds of children.
.What I hope to suggest buy these sculptures is that our desire to interact with objects weather they be made from gold, wood, canvas or vinyl stems from the same place in our subconscious mind that allows us to recognize an object of appreciation when we first encounter it.