Many of you know Jeff Staple, or think you do. But to us, he is more than just the enigmatic force behind his namesake fashion brand, Staple Pigeon. He is also an aficionado of art, music, and all things creative. So, when he agreed to contribute to our Ghost Writer series, we knew we were in for a treat. So enjoy Jeff's take on two current exhibits at The Brooklyn Museum and his exclusive words and pics.
There are currently two exhibitions happening right now at the Brooklyn Museum The pairing could not be more perfect and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in town.
“Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” is on display until August 23rd and "Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic" is on display until May 24th. Their work is decades apart from each other chronologically, but their mission could not be more complimentary. If you read every single caption and subtext of the exhibition, you may notice a small coincidence (or maybe not) that both artists agree on one thing: They wanted to place people of color in a world where they don’t normally see it: ART. It’s extremely likely that Wiley is influenced by JMB, but you don’t actually get that feeling. Stylistically, they could not be more different.
Wiley is a master—and he knows it. You know how a skater will pull a ridiculous trick even though he knows he’s won the competition? He’ll risk humiliation or even worse, injury; all in the name of just going for it. Wiley does the same. It’s obvious he’s good at his craft. But he just rubs in it. Cmon! These pieces are on a level fit for Napoleon.
Basquiat on the other hand, wields what any pauper has at their disposal: A composition notepad found at any 24-hour bodega and a No. 2 pencil. Maybe sometimes a crayon if you’re lucky. Basquiat makes you think with his word play. Wiley makes you think with his sheer artistic prowess. The great thing about what you see in Basquiat’s work is his brainstorming process. Most of the words, phrases and sketches seen in these notebooks never appear in his actual exhibited work. It’s like being a fly on the wall in his thought process. It’s really a rare experience.
The curator of the museum gets five stars from me for pairing these two artists together. One from the era of Fab Five Freddy and Boogie Down Productions. The other from the Rocafella Era and Watch The Throne. Two artists from different eras, different instruments, but playing the same exact rhythm.
- Jeff Staple
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