Widow Basquiat by Jennifer Clement
But the reason I decided to go to New York was beause I had seen Iggy Pop and I thought I had seen God. And because I had sent to Interview magazine for Rene Ricar’s first book of poetry, The Blue Book. I had never sent for anything before but something told me to do this. I had read that book over and over again like a Bible. I realized that a book can reach out and embrace you like an arm and make you walk away from everything you thought you understood.
Sometimes, occasionally (not often), I find myself having nothing to say. It generally happens when something has taken me by surprise or something is just too great for me to put into words. The little, boring details I can blab on about for days, and generally will, but hand me something prolific and I can’t get the proper words to escape from lips. Like my mouth is full of something sticky and lovely, like honey or maple syrup. Art does this to me a lot. This book does this to me.
I’ve always wanted to write about art but nothing ever comes out. Because how could it? My brain cannot put art into words because I see them as two separate beings that so easily and powerfully stand on their own two feet; that using one to describe the other just feels too big. But people do it and thank goodness that they do. I love reading about art, even though the concept is beyond my grasp, and a lot of times what’s written about a piece or an experience can enhance (and sometimes destroy) your own ideas. And sometimes books about a life, the ultimate art, can be filled with so much poetry and beauty that the words imprint themselves on my psyche while leaving me feeling like an, I’m-a-Walking-in-the-Rain teenage runaway. This book is poetic and beautiful and hands down my number one favorite book of 2016. It is about art, but also about life, which to me are one in the same. It is in the same vein of my beloved Patti Smith books—a true story of the times; lovely yet sad, like well loved, worn out velvet. It’s the story of Suzanne Mallouk, the muse and lover of the brilliant artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who shared many things such as, art, drugs, fear, love, and life. If you read nothing else, please read this!
I guess I did have a little something to say.