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Kevin Young's meditation on the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat is as complex and many-layered as the artist's legacy demands. The clichés and images of pop culture mingle with music, sports, art, and literature in both men. Basquiat's work contains a lot of text, and these words are incorporated into Young's verse as well.Young calls his book "an extended riff", an improvisation that plays off the original work, much as a jazz musician will reference, play with, and enlarge on a well-know...
I wanted to like this, and it seemed like just the sort of thing I'd enjoy... but, really, I just didn't. From beginning to end, it felt overly complicated and self-involved, while being so minimalist as to come across as more academic and convoluted than enjoyable. I never did feel connected to any of the poems, and it's hard for me to imagine revisiting this collection for any reason. I've really enjoyed some of Young's other pieces, but this just felt more like an academic playing with words
It's been a while since I read an entire book of poetry, but summer book bingo made me return to it. If I am going to read poetry, I prefer poems that are about personal human stories or cultural critiques or contemporary political observations, especially around identity. This one had a combo of all three.
This book booms Basquiat long after the artist/concept has been laid to rest. This book haunts and laughs like a mad scientist in a bygone horror film. It also trembles with anticipation with three word stanzas rapidly and repeatedly hitting you upside your head. I hate books about artists. I hate poetry about art. Thankfully this book is neither and both. A masterpiece.
Crazy gorgeous take on Basquiat.
Jean-M + Kevin Young are an incredible pair.
Kevin Young in a really good Basquiat mask.
based largely on the art of Jean Michel Basquiat, as well as other icons, this is a collection of poetry that you feel as music, an absolute must read