&WHAT | BASQUIAT: #BoomForReal.

Basquiat. Pronounced ‘Basquia’ with a silent ‘t’. Had to ask the Barbican gallery operator for confirmation on that one.

I always tend to keep an eye out for the latest gallery openings and exhibits in London. Couldn’t wait for this one – got tickets for the second day it was open. Keen.

Needless to say, the excitement was worth it. Spent nearly three hours in the gallery reading pretty much every excerpt. Well done Barbican, it’s incredibly well curated.

Don’t want to give too much away, but here are a few of the things that I found absolutely fascinating about Basquiat and his career, which like most of the greats, ended too soon.

  • Getting noticed: Basquiat first achieved fame in the art world by working with his friend Al Diaz and spray painting graffiti on buildings in Lower Manhattan, working under the pseudonym SAMO© in 1976. He would tag things and put his art up in obscure places until people started recognising the ‘SAMO©’ name and trying to find out who was behind all of this. He kept his anonymity and played with the papers writing letters back and forth asSAMO©. As someone who works in marketing and is always looking for creative ways to get your brand/ message out there – this is certainly a successful way to bring about curiosity and intrigue.
  • The Scene: The whole gallery truly captured the scene of NYC at the time. There were polaroids and videos of The Mudd Club where Basquiat used to go, hanging with Madonna and the likes before they were discovered. Genuinely wish I could be transported back to that time. Imagine the creativity and inspiration of all of those people in one place. DREAM.
  • Andy Warhol: Basquiat’s friendship with Andy Warhol was a key part of the exhibit and of course part of Basquiat’s career. I had no idea the two artists were so collaborative and connected, living together and working from the same studio. Unlikely but incredible influence on each other.
  • Dedication, Talent and Risk: There was a final interview with Basquiat at the Beverly Hills Hotel. This piece really struck me. The risk he took at such a young age to follow his dream and passion is something not many people have the balls to do. It’s those people – the movers and the shakers – that push beyond the ordinary and mundane and create a world of their own. The ones that have the perfect mix of talent and dedication and passion which makes them adverse to risk. This is something that exists within all of us but it’s about allowing yourself to find that and nurture it when you do. If you don’t have a chance to go to the exhibit you can watch it here

Another lovely read on Basquiat, where his friends and lovers share memories of their times with him. Good Saturday afternoon read.

It’s on until 28th January 2018 at the Barbican. GO GO GO.

-&what x.

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&WHAT | KATHARINA GROSSE & THE NED.

Sunday 15th October 2017.

Nearly two weeks after miss Caitlin’s birthday. The past two weeks have been manic with weddings and celebrations so it was today that I planned a fancy day out for us.

It started in South London in Peckham, an area I had never explored – surprising after nearly seven years here. It is true, if you live North you rarely ever make it down South. With the sun beaming down we decided to give ourselves our own walking tour of the area. Nearly an hour later with blistered feet – somewhow still seemed like a good idea.

Our first stop on the birthday trip was The South London Gallery. An exhibit by Katharina Grosse was on at the gallery which is SICK. It ends on 3rd December so there is plenty of time to go.

Katharina Grosse is a German artist. She had an exhibit on in NYC at Fort Tildens that I really wanted to go to but never had the time to make it out there. Pics of it here – incredible. So happy her work finally made it to London.

The colours and scale of the piece were stunning and of course, not to mention, excellent for the gram.

Our day of activities didn’t stop there. We made our way back to the stomping ground and went to Millie’s at The Ned. They have a Sunday Feast where you have an hour and a half to eat all of the Oysters, Lobster, Roast (with all the trimmings), desserts and sweets your heart desires. We certainly did exactly that. Ok, rolling myself home now.

-&what x

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&WHAT | BEACHIN IT.

Spent the last week in Portugal chasing the last bit of summer and watching one of our best university friends tie the knot (a FULL wedding post – saris and all will be up soon).

Sunday was our last day in the 30C heat so naturally, we headed straight for the beach. The beach is my happy place, soaking up all that Vitamin D, basking in the sun and enjoying the art of doing nothing – something I never normally do.

Cascais, Portugal is a gorgeous town by the Sea. We stayed in an Air BnB close to Gunchino Beach. It was a massive three bedroom apartment with views right onto the ocean. A massive change from our Lisbon Air BnB with ceilings so low we had to pull a quasimodo and hunch our (my) backs to walk around.

Saturday afternoon ahead of the wedding festivities we went to the beach to get our tan on and let me tell you – tanning was not in the cards. It was FREEZING. Perfect for watching surfers though. The beach was in a little enclave by rocks, with some massive waves. The Billabong World Champion surf competition had just ended the day before – if only we had made it ONE day earlier.

Sunday, post-wedding hangover we decided to go to Praia do Tamariz, less waves more sunshine. Picked up a paddle and balls from the local shop – ready for match day and working off those custard tarts.

It’s weekends like this that I live for.

Six years ago we were pulling all nighters in the Cardiff Unviersity, Bute Library. Who would have thought six years later we would be sitting on a beach sipping Sagres in Cascais after one of our friends got married. 💖  More days like this please.

-&what x