AGO First Thursdays + Basquiat

March 9, 2015

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's the Time

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time

We visited the Art Gallery of Ontario for their First Thursdays event, each month presenting a unique range of featured live music performances, talks/tours, art-making, installations, lectures, food and cash bar.

The energy of ~2500 visitors alleviates any expectation you may carry to engage with the art in a preconceived way. Clinking glasses, (smushing plastic cups), our group agreed that it was a welcome change of pace for both art viewing, and cocktail hour. The disruption of a large gallery’s usually hallowed ambiance is enough of a break in the expected that it feels rare, and mischievous, like a concert in a cathedral. I’m giddy to see the museum buzzing with bodies packed into the atrium, where DJs and musicians flood the area with sound.

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Swirling wine while staring into formidable landscapes has us traveling through the Canadian wild in all four seasons. Try touring Dutch works from the 1600s, wondering whether their liquor distilled from juniper was not so unlike the gin in your hand. Perhaps the AGO should do guided booze-paired-to-paintings tours.

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The Basquiat show got me particularly fired up about making things. A quote of Basquait’s lines one wall;

“The more I paint, the more I like everything.”

I wonder if the more I am near paintings, drinking, the more I like everything. AGO First Thursdays looks like a promising way to distill optimism and inspiration.

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And, we echo the gallery’s encouragement to buy advance tickets, as AGO First Thursdays have been consistently selling out – and there’s always a little tickle in bypassing the long lineups.

Maybe we’ll see you there next month.

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