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July 29 2014

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1 posts tagged "Suzanne Geiss Company"

Remembering Basquiat—Nude and Otherwise

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RECLINING NUDE: JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Photographs by PAIGE POWELL

“It wasn’t my idea to do this,” explained photographer and curator Paige Powell. “I didn’t want to face it.” The artist is talking about her new exhibition, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Reclining Nude, which opened at the Suzanne Geiss Company on Grand Street last night. The photographs on display, grainy black-and-whites blown up to massive scale from negatives that were untouched for three decades, depict Basquiat lounging nude while sketching in his Upper West Side apartment. Powell’s work captures a moment of intimacy between she and Basquiat—one of many the pair shared during their two-year relationship at a time when Powell ran with Andy Warhol (she started working at Interview magazine just a couple of weeks after moving to New York in 1980) and his crowd of Factory regulars.

“I had so many photographs—prints, video, Polaroids—and they had all gone into boxes, so nothing was referenced, very little was dated,” continued Powell, stopping to greet friends including Gus Van Sant, David LaChapelle, Rufus Wainwright, and Isabel Toledo. “When I came across these, I wasn’t sure if I should show them. I thought, ‘What would Jean-Michel think? He would love these.’”

“Paige was always wired to be a little more conscious of the moment at hand or what it meant—with Andy, with everything,” mused longtime pal, curator and fellow Warholite Carlo McCormick. “I never hung out with Jean naked,” he added. “I only hung out with him doing drugs. But I think it’s nice that she’s conveyed something really intimate on a big scale. It’s a space that you don’t often share.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Reclining Nude is on view at Suzanne Geiss Company in New York through February 22.

Photo: Patrick McMullan Company