The Easel

7th May 2019

Devan Shimoyama’s Vision of a Dazzling Black Future

A review, dense in parts, but worth it because of the artist. At just 30, yet already with two solo shows, Shimoyama is perhaps a soon-to-be big name. A series of works, set in barbershops, explores “queerness and blackness”. Not all see these as explicitly political images. What is plain, though, is Shimoyama’s “impulse to complicate conventional notions of masculinity”.

30th April 2019

We’ve Been Looking at Jean-Michel Basquiat All Wrong. He Was a Conceptual Artist, Not an Expressionist—and Here’s Why

Early on, Basquiat attracted labels like ‘radiant child’ and ‘primitivist’, leading many to surmise his work expressed inner turmoil. His frenzied scrawls may resemble European expressionism but only by accident. Instead, the key to his complex work is text. Basquiat was “an artist of words and thoughts, [like conceptual artist Jenny Holzer], not of instincts and inchoate emotions.”