Marc Jacobs on Jean-Michel Basquiat: ‘Cool’


Marc Jacobs.


This being mid-August, otherwise known as the devastating drought for all things interesting and newsworthy, and me with an art blog to populate with fodder for the consumption of the three of you that are in town and looking for that sort of thing, here is an interview between Derek Blasberg and Marc Jacobs, published on Gagosian Now. Before we get to the juicy proceedings (spoiler alert: it’s not juicy, and I cannot stress enough how much I am calling attention to this interview merely as a means of filling space), let me interject to say that I like the name Gagosian Now. It calls to mind various corporate rebranding schemes, for instance the debacle of New Coke, which you might as well look into because, as I mentioned, it’s the very middle of August and there’s not a lot else to do. It also reminds me of a weight-loss advertisement. You don’t want to see Gagosian Then, let me tell you.

Anyway. Here’s a little story that Jacobs tells Blasberg, a passage which you’ll have noticed by now that I took and mutated into the pithy and vaguely sarcastic headline you see above, as a form of manipulation. I’m sorry:

Jean-Michel [Basquiat], Julian [Schnabel], Francesco [Clemente]. I met them all, and I was going out a lot, and I enjoyed them as people. I felt so privileged to know them. But if I had to identify their work, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. I knew that Jean-Michel was a guy that Andy [Warhol] really liked. I was there one night at the Odeon when he fell asleep in a bowl of soup, and I thought that was cool. I could hold a conversation with them. But I couldn’t really tell what they were making in terms of art.

Another thing that happens in the interview is that Jacobs confesses to collecting a number of Gagosian artists—Mike Kelley, Ed Ruscha—and says that getting sober was what got him interested in contemporary art because “I had been running around with models, stylists, fashion people, and I would spend nights drinking and partying” and “I needed to replace these behaviors with activities and creative pursuits that I found as fulfilling.”

I could continue summarizing the interview, or you could read it yourself, or, better yet, you could read neither it nor the blog post about it and go to a beach or a movie or something. As I’ve said several times already, it’s August, and that’s the time when you do those kinds of things, in my experience.

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