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Downtown in the 70’s: Andy Warhol and I disagree about graffiti art 

A visitor looks at the painting “Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump, 1982” by U.S. artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) before the opening of the exhibition “Basquiat” at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris in October. 2010. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

 

Ever look at a trend in art, or music, and say, “Well, that’s never going anywhere,” then live to see how wrong you were? Read Abigail McGrath’s story in MV Arts and Ideas Magazine about being downtown in New York in the seventies, thinking Andy Warhol was nuts for trying to get her to pay attention to something called “graffiti art”:

Andy asked me to take a look at a piece signed by “Samo.” Now, here is the part I remember, because it was so funny. I thought it said “Sambo,” and that Andy asked me to look at it because I was black. (There was a children’s book called “Little Black Sambo” which was considered so racist it was taken out of school systems and libraries.) But back to the “art” he was asking me about. I told Andy, “It’s just a bunch of words and cartoons. How can you call that art? Poetry maybe, but not art.”

I turned on my heels and walked away in a huff.

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