“The only thing the market liked better than a hot young artist was a dead hot young artist, and it got one in Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose working life of about nine years was truncated by a heroin overdose at the age of twenty-seven. His career, both actual and posthumous, appealed to a cluster of toxic vulgarities. First, the racist idea of the black as naif or rhythmic innocent, and of the black artist as “instinctual,” someone outside “mainstream” culture and therefore not to be rated in its terms: a wild pet for the recently cultivated collector. Second, a fetish about the freshness of youth, blooming among the discos of the East Side scene. Third, guilt and political correctness, which made curators and collectors nervous about judging the work of any black artist who could be presented as a “victim.” Fourth, art-investment mania. And last, the audience’s goggling appetite for self-destructive talent: Pollock, Montgomery Clift. All this gunk rolled into a sticky ball around Basquiat’s tiny talent and produced a reputation.
“Basquiat’s career was incubated by the short-lived graffiti movement, which started on the streets and subway cars in the early 1970s, peaked, fell out of view, began all over again in the 1980s, peaked again, and finally receded, leaving Basquiat and the amusingly facile Keith Haring as its only memorable exponents. Unlike Haring, however, Basquiat never tagged the subways. The son of middle-class Brooklyn parents, he had a precocious success with his paintings from the start. The key was not that they were “primitive,” but that they were so arty. Stylistically, they were pastiches of older artists he admired: Cy Twombly, Jean Dubuffet. Having no art training, he never tried to deal with the real world through drawing; he could only scribble and jot, rehearsing his own stereotypes, his pictorial nouns for “face” or “body” over and over again. Consequently, though Basquiat’s images look quite vivid and sharp at first sight, and though from time to time he could bring off an intriguing passage of spiky marks or a brisk clash of blaring color, the work quickly settles into the visual monotony of arid overstyling. Its relentless fortissimo is wearisome. Critics made much of Basquiat’s use of sources: vagrant code-symbols, quotes from Leonardo or Gray’s Anatomy, African bushman art or Egyptian murals. But these were so scattered, so lacking in plastic force or conceptual interest, that they seem mere browsing – homeless representation.
“The claims made for Basquiat were absurd and already seem like period pieces. ‘Since slavery and oppression under white supremacy are visible subtexts in Basquiat’s work ,’ intoned one essayist in the catalog to his posthumous retrospective at the Whitney Museum, ‘he is as close to Goya as American painting has ever produced.’ Another extolled his ‘punishing regime of self-abuse’ as part of ‘the disciplines imposed by the principle of inverse asceticism to which he was so resolutely committed.’ Inverse asceticism, apparently, is PC-speak for addiction. There was much more in, so to speak, this vein. But the effort to promote Basquiat into an all-purpose inflatable martyr-figure, the Little Black Rimbaud of American painting, remains unconvincing.”
The next best thing since Hedi Slimane (Dior Homme), Jun Takahashi (Undercover), Ann Demeulmeester, Raf Simons, Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, Verri, Rick Owens, Number Nine, Pascual Chen, Cloak, HAN SEUNG SOO, Kosmetique, Julian & Sophie, N.Hoolywood, Lad Musician and Tsubi.
PUDEL believes in the androgynous expression. We make gender free garments with clean cuts and conceptual detailing, mainly in monochrome shades.
Pudel was established during the autumn of 2004 as the result of intensive electronic communication between Sweden and the UK. Our clothes have been on exhibit in Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as in various showrooms in London and Tokyo. We have also collaborated with TOPSHOP in London / Oxford Circus.
Our second collection, ‘Reconstruction in Europe’ S/S 06, is currently available in selected shops in Scandinavia, Germany, Ireland, the UK and Japan.
Matias Klarwein was born on the 9th of April 1932 in Hamburg, Germany. His father Joseph (born Yusef Ben Menachem), was an architect working with the Bauhaus movement and his mother Elsa (born Elsa Kühne), was an opera singer. Mati emigrated with his parents to Israel (then Palestine) in 1934. During the formation of the new Israel, his father won the competition to construct the parliament building: the Knesset in Tel Aviv.
At the age of 17, Mati moved to Paris with his mother where he studied painting at the Academie Julian, the Beaux Arts, as well as with Fernand Leger (1949-51) and Ernst Fuchs (1952-54) with whom he learned the mixed technique of the 16th century Flemish school. He made several other fundamental friendships in France with such personalities as Kitty Lillaz, Boris Vian, and Salvador Dali. Mati obtained French nationality in 1965 with the help of Mrs. André Malraux.
Mati’s work included drawing, painting, writing, playing drums and guitar, and directing short and medium films and videos. Throughout the years, he worked, traveled and lived in many countries including: Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, India, North America, Morocco, Niger, Haiti, Jamaica, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Bahamas, Kenya, Senegal, Gambia, Cuba and Guatemala – more or less in that order. It follows that he spoke no less than six languages: English, French, Spanish, German & Hebrew with good notions in Arabic and Italian.
Mati Klarwein’s best known paintings are ‘Annunciation’, which was chosen for the cover of Santana’s album ‘Abraxas’, and the painting used by Miles Davis for his cover ‘Bitches Brew’ – also reproduced for Absolut Vodka’s ad campaign. His artwork has been widely shown in galleries in New York, Paris, and all over Spain. Mati’s most unique installation was the Aleph Sanctuary, a cubic room comprised of 68 paintings including the ‘Tree of Life’ requiring a guard at its entrance in the Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, California. During his last years, he had major retrospective shows in Madrid, Barcelona, Palma and Cadiz.
It’s nice to see local mates doing up here and more and more talents are showing their flair recently, like Louis & Aida, Franco Tan, 2manydesigners, momorobo, Warren Wee, Justin Lee, Michael Lee and Jonathan Seow’s Woods & Woods.
Ufho™ is a showcase of selected works of JUN. JUN graduated with a Diploma in Internet Computing. Some of the courses covered include Java programming, Human Computer Interaction, E-commerce Application Development, Internetworking and Enterprise Multimedia. JUN is a currently working as a creative for the Ministry of Sound Club in Singapore.