We were commissioned last year to design the book and exhibition for Basquiat: Boom for Real, which is set to open at the Barbican Art Gallery this September. We’ve been busy over the past months researching Basquiat’s life and career, and working on our designs.
Our approach references certain visual and material qualities within Basquiat’s work in an understated way, allowing the frenetic energy and immediacy of his artworks to take centre stage. The images to the right display some of these qualities. The proportion and scale of his graffiti writing (shown above in a still from the film Downtown ‘81) influenced our choice of type for titles throughout the show; we’ve also been looking at Basquiat’s roughly-finished frames and use of found materials, which can be seen below in a photo of his exhibition at the Centre Culturel Français, Ivory Coast (1986).
The exhibition, for which we are collaborating with Carmody Groarke, opens on 21 September.