Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris. Jean Michel Basquiat Exhibition exhibiting 120 works.

I travelled to Paris this morning on the Eurostar headed for the Louis Vuitton Foundation. Train left King Cross on the nose at 6.15am. I remember dozing off for a while, next thing I knew I was seeing fields that seemed surprisingly. I assumed the train was darting though Kent. I checked the time and it was 1 hour before the ETA to arrive at Gard de Nord. Result. Time seemed to fly past, which was great as train journeys can be boring. I had a window seat which I always try and get and I was sat next a woman who I ended chatting and and having a laugh with; this also made the journey go quicker. The trains decent into Gard de Nord passed some beautiful crafted street art, all text based but collectively visually stunning.

My 1st attempt at getting a taxi was a joke. I was told it would be 50 – 60€. I immediately thought hang on – this is a bit steep. The man then went on to inform me that he would need to divert the taxi and take a longer route due to the yellow jacket march. I laughed and politely said “thank you sir” smiled and politely walked off. I ended up catching another taxi and paying 16€. Maybe my shiny boots suggested I had Londoner with a fat wallet tattooed on my forehead. If I had never pre-planned I could of easily of over paid and been none the wiser. The mantra “Prior planning” worked perfectly this time.

The exhibition of Jean Michel work covered gallery’s over 8 floors. Brilliantly curated, the exhibition took you a journey of line, size and subject matter. The exhibition ended with the master piece “Dancing with death“. I have seen this piece before but seeing it again and the date of it’s creation 1988 forced me to look at it differently. 1988 was the year Jean Michel died. The title and the subject matter of the painting is chilling and looking at it I felt a lot of pain. The painting in it’s composition and the execution of the line screams at you death. Poignantly it was a self full filling prophecy. I can only the reaction to this painting when it was first shown. It is technically a beautiful work. The paining was at the end of the last gallery on the 8th floor, on the end back wall. As you entered the gallery you could see it at the end, majestic in it’s beauty. It was if I was in a church and at an altar looking at it. Ironically there was silence as people gazed and stared at the painting.

The piece I went to see simply blew me away. Ogun Grillo, 1984. It was huge and I mean huge. I am glad I made the effort to come to Paris to see it. The painting does not need words I think it speaks for itself.

Ogun Grillo, 1984
Riding with Death, 1988.