Tag Archives: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Saturday Random: no more low-carb, 36 questions, and some zen

Another Saturday Random! The week just flies by, doesn’t it?

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Picture of the week:

 Dylan drawing on the large graffiti chalkboard at the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He didn’t want to leave this section!Basquiat AGO

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Why can’t they create a hair colouring product that will just colour your grey hairs? You know, so you have instant highlights without messing with the colour of the rest of your hair?

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I’ve been really tired for the past two weeks, and I was blaming it on Daylight Savings Time. But guess what? It wasn’t!

It appears it was my low-carb diet. I’ve been low-carb for a couple of months now. I looked it up, and for some people (not the majority), low-carb can produce heavy-duty fatigue.

That was exactly what I’d been feeling. Fatigue and brain fog. On Wednesday night, I had to sign out of my weekly writers chat on Google Hangouts early, I was so tired. I was in bed by eleven, which is early for me.

So I started adding carbs back into my diet on Thursday. And while the fatigue hasn’t instantaneously disappeared, I’m definitely not feeling that high level of exhaustion. Plus the brain fog has disappeared.

Not to mention, it’s been nice getting reacquainted with rice and potatoes. The only carbs I’m going to continue to eliminate are the sugary ones.

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Ward and I went out last night for dinner so we could continue with the 36 questions that lead to love, which we decided to do last month to help strengthen our relationship.

We decided on a restaurant called the Spice Route, because Ward had noticed it on his way to the dentist one day and thought it looked interesting. The Yelp reviews were mixed, so we decided we’d just go and be okay with whatever happened.

And, as usually happens when you’ve decided you’re okay with having bleh food or bad service, we had fabulous, attentive service and the entrées we ordered were lovely. The same thing happened when we went out for dinner last month, too (I know, we only do this once a month—but hey, that’s better than not at all, right?).

So I’ve decided I should try to cultivate this attitude of being okay with what is.

As for the questions, we’re into Set III, the questions which feel a little odd because they really are meant to be asked by someone you don’t know that well. But it’s been fun and interesting so far—and it gives us something to talk about that’s not, you know, kids, bills, and work and home stuff.

Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Photo 2015-03-12, 2 06 58 PMThe AGO’s Basquiat ad at Dundas Subway Station

Today I went with my friend Linda to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Linda and I each bought memberships to the AGO back in November so we could expose ourselves to a bit of culture every now and then. Plus it makes for a fun girls’ night (in this case, day) out.

According to the AGO’s promotional materials,

Jean-Michel Basquiat took the New York City art world by storm in the early 1980s and gained international recognition by creating powerful and expressive works that confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension. Although his career was cut short by his untimely death at age 27, his groundbreaking drawings and paintings continue to challenge perceptions, provoke vital dialogues and empower us to think critically about the world around us.

Photo 2015-03-13, 9 08 06 PM

Before I attended the exhibit, I didn’t know much about Basquiat, other than what I’d read in this article I recently read in the NYT Blogs about an upcoming exhibit of his notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum.

So, did his drawings challenge my perceptions and empower me to think critically about the world around us?

The first wall of the exhibit showcased a number of drawings on paper. To my uneducated-about-art eye, these drawings looked a lot like children’s drawings. There was a certain charm to them, but then again there’s a certain charm to most drawings done in that style.

But then I moved on to the next pieces, and slowly I began to understand what the promotional materials were talking about. His larger pieces are bold and beautifully vibrant with colour and emotion, and many of them incorporate symbols which are reflected in other pieces. Overall, I enjoyed his skull/head pieces the most. My friend Linda was awed by the emotion Basquiat was able to give to the eyes in several of his pieces.

One piece, Defacement – The Death of Michael Stewart, is particularly intense and moving. Basquiat created the piece after the brutal beating death of black graffiti artist Michael Stewart at the hands of the New York City transit police in 1983.

With some of the pieces, though, the accompanying commentary just confused me – I’d look from the painting to the words and I simply didn’t get from the painting what the commentary said I should be getting. But there were several very powerful pieces that definitely speak to the issues of race and social tension. His portrayal of young black men in his artwork is particularly powerful.

Would I go again? Yes. And actually, I am going again! Next week, I’m going to take Dylan there. I have a feeling he’ll really enjoy the exhibit.

To see some of the pictures from the exhibit, click here.