Jean-Michel Basquiat – Xerox
Was there ever an artist more New York than Basquiat? Reminiscent of the city’s graffiti facades and walls plastered in advertisements, Xerox at Nahmad Contemporary highlights an often-unexplored corner of the late artist’s body of work: largescale collages using xerox copies as the medium. Basquiat’s fascination with the xerox machine, and indeed his use of technology in his art in the early 1980s, pioneered digital art in a pre-digital world.
The exhibit, on display from March 12 to May 31, includes analysis from Basquiat scholar Dieter Buchhart of works, many of which have never before been publicly exhibited. Basquiat’s utilization of the ‘cut-up’ technique along with his own style of drawings and motifs is explored through his xerox compositions. The significance of each work included in this exhibit is timely; the digital age makes us question the role of art and the artist, seeking genuine ingenuity in a copy-and-paste world. Basquiat’s vision of the future, highlighted in his xerox works, offer a fresh perspective on the times in which we live. For New Yorkers, Basquiat fans, and frustrated internet-users, Xerox is a stunning and important look into technology, changing mediums, and the innovation of Basquiat himself.