25 April, 2005

Danto on Basquiat

My favorite part:

He did not survive his decade. He made a lot of money, which he spent lavishly on drugs. He had a terrible heroin addiction. One of his last works, on brown canvas, is called Riding With Death. A brown and black equestrian figure sits astride a horse skeleton. There are crosses in the eyeholes of the horse's skull. "Horse," of course, is slang for heroin, which transports the rider out of the world, with his arms spread out in a gesture of helplessness.

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