Basquiat is playing at my house!

Whew! Sorry for the little lapse in posts. Things have been crazy here in the Hill household (with the kiddos out for summer) and the time has just gotten away from me. But that's not to say things haven't been a happenin'. To fight the summer "I'm Boooored" syndrome, I enlisted the kids to help me with a long idled art project that I'd started a few years ago.

I initially painted a large piece of MDF with chalkboard paint for the kids to practice their writing on, but eventually decided to make them each a smaller one that would fit in their rooms instead (to avoid the inevitable fights over it).

Then it became an ill-fated attempt at writing out an "urban" looking version of the poem "Desiderata" (which if you've never read it, get thee to Google, or click here!). Something inspirational for the kids to read and take to heart as they're growing up. I know, I'm just adorable right?

It was a good idea, but the execution was pretty lame...which is probably why I can't seem to find any pictures of it. Below was the best I could come up with.

Wow. It's even worse looking than I remember!

THEN, I painted over most of the poem, determined to do it right next time. So this giant thing sat in our dining room for almost a year looming over every meal like my own personal Kubrickian monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I swear I could hear that weird humming noise every time I walked by it. Again, there are few pictures that exist from this dark period. Here it is peeking out from behind my stunningly beautiful wife...

Hey! You're supposed to be looking at the big "painting" in the background!

So one day a few weeks ago the kids wanted to do an art project. They're always wanting to paint, but it's so messy that I'm usually coming up with some excuse to stick to crayons instead. But I decided to let them loose on the monolith to see if they fared better than I did.

And WOW! I absolutely love the result. I've always admired Jean-Michel Basquiat and the seemingly effortless stream-of-consciousness vibe of his works and I think the kids captured that same feel in the piece that I call, "Illusions of Fatherhood." What's interesting is that my kids have never seen Basquiat's work and I didn't give them much creative direction outside of, "AAARGH! Don't wipe your hands on the wall!"

Illusions of Fatherhood

I'm not going to lie: This photo was totally staged.

Here's an example of the real deal Basquiat...

And another one...

And somehow Basquiat's trademark crown icon ended up in the painting too, though it might have more to do with the fact that one of the artist's is obsessed with princesses than anything...

Anyway, It made me realize that I should probably let them get messy more often.

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  1. Is there an simpler and cheaper way to get such striking and emotionally compelling art work? I think not!



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