The 110,000,000 million dollar man!

Homage to Jean Michel BASQUIAT. By Karey Maurice aka KaM© 2017

I wanted to initially write an artsy article relating to this years Whitney Biennial and it’s controversial subject surrounding the ‘Black Lives Matter’ theme. But I allowed time to pass and see if there would be any action after outrage over the whole thing?

I basically choose to start creating something based on what I read because I knew I would not be able to see the exhibition in person. It was just a jump off point then the auction happened and I kept getting tagged on my #Facebook page about the record sale of my contemporary artist doppelgänger #JeanMichelBasquiat who he and my friend #KeithHaring continue to either inspire or haunt me at times because of the close relationships.I guess #BlackLivesMatter has been proven or at least the auction sale readdresses the question of representation and value?

Kolors by Kenny Scharf @ Paul Kasmin Gallery.

I’ll start off this blog entry by saying trust your instincts and better yet; accept every invitation when humanly possible! You never know who you might meet or just who may be watching you from afar.
This past Thursday April 4th 2013 Kenny (Jet) Scharf opened his solo exhibition with a colorful explosion of paintings & large sculptures that gave you that spacey organic atmosphere feeling that only he can provide and is his signature environment. The paint was bubbling off the canvas with oozing shapes and splashes along with soft balloon like forms with eyes just inviting you into this world of cosmic [Kolor] as the title of the exhibition suggested.
The sculptures there were large in scale. One had this Ooh No type of expression with mouth wide open. Another one had more of a monster grimace with teeth and sinister eyes ready to just attack you if you didn’t behave. The third one was a totem of a mixture of expressions that towered over everybody in attendance which leads me to try to describe the crowd that showed up for the art show.
I had received a personal message via Facebook ( I personally call it Fessbook) from my new Gal Pal Drena DeNiro and that was the prime motivator for me because I was in great anticipation to finally meet her in person because we share some personal connections to the early 1980’s New York art scene and have been messaging each other about that since I sent her a friends request that she surprisingly accepted some time ago.
A lot of these people were in attendance on this night so it made things kinda personal and a warmer experience than the usual fashion show-N-tell that most openings can turn out to be. But, don’t get me wrong, that can be fun too if you’re a voyeur like myself and get excited in large crowds.
I met the one and only Fab 5 Freddy, Mark Kostabi, and ran into Rick Prol again after meeting him at the last exhibition I attended in New York; I also met Allison Goldenstein a friend of Drena’s who is connected to the fashion business and designs clothing from what I know of her personally. I saw Kenny’s beautiful youngest daughter Malia who I keep mistaking for another young beauty named Andrea Diaz who stayed in our Orbit most of the evening so she appears in a lot of shots Tasha K. captured of the audience.
The only thing about these art openings that has changed a lot since I use to attend them back in the early 80’s is that people view it as a night out on the town; a sort of entertainment and a way to escape paying for drinks. So you heard the term freeloader [even though the gallery was dry] being whispered amongst the in-crowd who back in the day brought our own party material with us and shared with whoever was in need of a quick pick me up and you made new friends that way.You could tell who was just there looking for beer or wine to drink. I have or I should say my #1 Gal Pal Tasha K. captured some awesome shots of the evening which I’m happy to share here. Check them out!

Box fade guy @ Kolors exhibition ©Tasha K. 2013
Diva people @ Kolors exhibition ©Tasha K. 2013
Fashion plate guest @ Kolors exhibition ©KaM© 2013
Fab 5 Freddy & KaM© @ Kolors exhibition ©KaM© 2013
KAM© & Drena DeNiro +Bruno Schmidt @ Kolors exhibition ©Tasha K.2013
KAM© & Mark Kostabi @ Kolors exhibition ©Tasha K.2013
Andrea Diaz @ Kolors exhibition.
Malia Scharf + guest @ Kolors exhibition ©Tasha K.2013
Tasha Kersey @ Kolors exhibition ©KaM© 2013

Totem sculpture @ Paul Kasmin Gallery ©Tasha K. 2013
Allison Goldstein @ Paul Kasmin gallery photo © Tasha K. 2013

New documentary ‘Basquiat’ The Radiant Child

This looks like an interesting new film but its a sad story that really shouldn’t be retold over and over again because it doesn’t inspire anyone,or I should say,any African Americans to become fine artists.
We are already conditioned to believe in rejection of our god given talents for more realistic goals taught to us by our parents which was taught to them by society at large.

Although Jean-Michel did enjoy some success it was brief and filled with self doubt throughout his entire career which was only seven years. I personally feel that if he had other contemporary artists that were African American around him and to support him he wouldn’t have been so lonely in an enviorment that usually consist of predominatly caucasian males who dominate the visual art world and
don’t have to worry about having people to relate to and share their feelings with.
This point is never examined when you try to figure out why he self medicated himself to a point of self-destruction and it is a shame that the impossibilities weigh so heavy on a person that they’ll try anything to fit into this American diaspora only to be exploited and then discarded like day old trash when no longer useful.
If the focus were on a collective group of artists then no one person would be at the center of attention and the pressure wouldn’t seem so great to be the leader of the pack,and,at best, it would develope a heathy competition amongst peers and one wouldn’t have to feel that they had to speak for an entire race of people.

How does one get past the artistic talent of Jean-Michel Basquiat and realize that there are a whole lot more artists out there who have just as much talent, if not more,with the same desire and passion to be a collective part of the visual arts world.I know they’re wondering when are the gates going to open up and give them a chance to express themselves.

“The feeling of loneliness and being unwanted is the most terrible of poverty.

Mark Your Calendars! September 5 2008 “COALESCE”

Greetings,This post is to inform you of this spectacular exhibition focusing on the world of designer custom toys and the art that is produced on three dimentional figures that are sold in do it yourself kits(DIY) that retail at a store in Soho, NY among other retailers across the country.

It is a new medium for an artist like myself to be a part of and, I envite you to see this very promising exhibition that will include some 3D works but not limited to just that medium alone.

There may be a total of one hundred artist with very diverse backgrounds everything from graphic illustration to, graffitti to, fine art and sculpture and also, some strange model makers or toy designers is what I should say.For more information contact Focal Point Gallery director Ron Turner about the exhibition and mark your calendar for this ground breaking exhibition.

This movement of artist who create these works of art, and,who will be on display at this exhibition that I just recently got involved with reminds me of that ground breaking show “The Times Square Show” in 1980 that launched the careers of the most collectable artist of this century. I was a nap too late to be a part of that exhibition back then but when I found out about this exhibition, I knew couldn’t let this one go by without me putting some work in it.

I truly hope you can attend and see this great new scene that is sweeping the nation. These artist that are making this “Low Jack Pop” are creating positive things with the earths mortal enemy, “Plastic.
RedSaid a.k.a KaMo

Gallery GO Round in the 1980’s.

artwork by Arman ‘Monochrome Accumulation No.1515’ ©1988-89

I was on the mailing list of some of the galleries that handled certain artist that I liked during the peak of the 80’s scene.One gallery in particular was Vrej Baghoomain Gallery located at 555 Broadway in Soho,New York. I know this name may make some people shudder because of the mysterious business practices of Mr. Baghoonian but, I know very little about the subject and I am not going to inform anyone who doesn’t already know the story.I just want to mention that this place was happening back in the day, and what I mean by happening is that I met the most influential artist of the twentieth century here and Arman was one of them.When you went to this gallery you brought your own drink along with you just in case you didn’t like the wine selection.The exhibitions were always interesting but, the croud could be even more interesting if your into that sort of thing. I wish I would have carried a camera with me back then because the people who came to Vrej’s gallery were the who’s who of the artworld that some art students today would have loved to be hanging out with.
I would like to think that, at least back then the competition was furious between artist thanks to Jean-Michel but,Everyboby came to eachothers openings to lend support or, to crack on the artist if his work was weak because of being rushed to make that money. I also liked the fact that the musicians of this time also thought that the galleries were the “In Hang” before going out to the clubs. At this very same gallery I met Yoko Ono and her son at one of the exhibitions featuring her work.I don’t know whats going now, I been off the scene since most of the galleries moved out of Soho and into the Chelsea area.I have been to a few shows but not like I use to do, it seems like the warehouse galleries are like going to a large storage facillity with nice walls.I guess I wouldn’t mind if it were my own work that I was looking at while I was there or, I wouldn’t mind seeing some old school Pop art anytime. RedSaid

Ghost in Modern Art/ My own time in space.

Artwork Jean-Michel Basquiat ‘Red Warrior’ ©1988 the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
I seledcted this invitation from the year 1989 to illustrate my own history and relavance to the ArtStars of the past decade to talk about today.It really is weird to have lived in the shadows of some of the most talked about artist of the twentieth century and still have my own work unrecognized by the art world at large. It’s partly because I’m so busy making art that I find myself happy with my own accomplishments within my own parameters of experimentation in the studio,always challenging the theories I develope from previous creations. I find that I don’t have time to promote the work for some reason or other and I’m glad that I at least belong to a gallery.This way I can exhibit some things from time to time to illustrate what I am currently working on, or,show some work that hasn’t seen the light of day since I created it.
This invitation is relavent in the sense that it is one of the last times that I encountered Keith Haring in public.We walked around the show together and viewed the art.I remember two destinct things about this day that I will never forget and one of them was that out of all the people that were there,who I had seen around before at Vrej’s gallery at an Basquiat exhibition or, at Tony’s gallary for a Haring show, only a few of them acknowledged Keith’s presence for fear of contracting AIDs,because it was real obvious at this point that he was suffering.I thought that was really sad because justa few years before that people were jocking him everywhere he went.
The second thing I remember is that while we walked around the gallery looking at the paintings Keith kept repeating how great he thought Jean-Michel’s work was and he was asking me if some of the paintings were prints or originals because he couldn’t see very well due to his illness.I just told him that I wasn’t sure because I felt very honored to be hanging with him and I didn’t want to make him feel worse than I had imagined if I had the same problem as he did at the moment.
Another thing that is interesting about this time is that, in my relationship to Basquiat I noticed some parallels that someone might find interesting.The first thing is that there is only a three year difference between our ages,both of us born in the early sixties, and, I also share a scar down the center of my belly due to a childhood accident.I also was interested in meeting Andy Warhol for some career advice but Jean beat me to it.I have since made up ground by staying alive and, I am now aquainted with the Warhola’s through my art historian friend Dr. Debra Miller and the most strangest things would happen to me in New York during the late eighties because I too had dreadlocks and some people did mistake me for Jean-Michel just before his death.
I do feel proud at least, that I have survived those crazy daze and that I have the honor and responceability to carry on a legacy that didn’t start with me, and it certainly won’t end with me but, I will do my best to push the boundries that the artist who came just a few years before me have done. Redsaid

Keeping the memory alive.

Artwork Keith Haring © 1986 Estate of Keith Haring
This entry is going to have little to do with the image you are looking at and more about how the person that made it has inspired me to continue my efforts at establishing myslf as another key figure in the contemporary art scene.I was told by the late Keith Haring to not depend on one thing and so I have done many things as an artist over the years to express my creativity and one of them is writing.
I will often revisit the subject of “Pop Art” because I have been associated with it ever since I can remember and I myself have expressed the subject in my own work and I can’t seem to escape its influence.
Next month one of my paintings will grace the cover of a magazine called “Out in Jersey”and inside there is an article about the day I met Keith Haring way back in 1987 at a photo session and this has been a story that I’ve been wanting to tell for a long time.So if your from Jersey in particular.please pick up a copy of the magazine and check it out,its free so the cost shouldn’t be a deterrent but, I must warn you that this publication is not for the closed minded.RedSaid

Pop Shop Memoirs;A gang of photos for All Y’all ©Karey Maurice 1987

Keith Haring artwork ©Estate of Keith Haring / Bipo & Deana 1987

I use to have alot of fun chillin out with Bipo and anyone who we could get to pose for the camera.
When you look at this store with people in it you get the feeling of being in someones brain complete with all the thoughts imaginable about enjoying life to its maximum!
I remember hanging out and the phone would ring Bipo would stop charming the customers to answer. When it was Keith calling from the studio,he would ask who was there at the Pop Shop and Bipo would say”its just me and Karey” and;Keith would say”good send him over to the studio with this order for my guest.”
I use to get so excited because Bipo would tell me who the stuff was for before I headed out the door on my way to the studio.
Some of the studio guest that I remember dropping in on were:Pee Wee Herman,Jean Paul Gaultier,Erin Cosby and George Michael although I was not permitted to enter the studio on that day or when Paul Rubens was in the house.RedSaid

Bipo with unknown girl smoking indoors

Keith Haring artwork ©Estate of Keith Haring

Membership Has Its Privileges.More cards:Saint,Area,Saint circa.1986

I started to get more hip to the special entry cards and I began getting membership cards to the clubs that I liked to hang out at for one reason or the other.I kind of mentioned already what the club Area was like with its changing themes and art shows but,The Saint however was a totally different animal altogether for many reasons.First of all it was one of the super big clubs with plenty of space and places you could go beyond the dance floor and bar area not unlike the Palladium with its multi-levels and the Michael Todd Room for the V.I.P parties.It was an old planetarium on second avenue at Sixth Street and the dance floor was inside a round silkscreen dome where images of the universe along with pornographic stuff was shown.It also had a multi- level scaffolding built around the dome connected to the balcony with catwalks.I really enjoyed hanging out at this place except, did I mention that this was a gay disco and that’s the animal I was talking about,there were not enough women for me to enjoy it.I had to bring a date if I was going to have some fun I think Thursday night was straight night with Dj Robbie Leslie and lights by Richard Sabala of course.
Does anyone out there remember the great posters that were sent out to the members?I use to collect them and I had the ones done by artist like David Wojnarowicz & Martin Wong but gave them away to my cousin who later lost them not realizing what a treasure he would have right now.RedSaid

Pop Shop Memories (Ceiling art © Keith Haring) photo ©Karey Maurice 87

I remember walking into this place for the first time it was if I was struck by lightning or something.I couldn’t believe how amazing it made me feel I was glad I had a camera to document the moment.This was one of the many places I visited while checking out the Soho fashion scene.I use to cut through the little alley street named Jersey St. and it was the smallest street I ever walked down right next to the Pop shop that ran between Lafayette St & Crosby St. on my way to Canal Jean Co. for more shopping.RedSaid

Keith Haring artwork © Estate of Keith Karing