These two shows, which run concurrently (until 31 January 2004) feature 11 of Basquiat’s large-format paintings and a selection of Andy Warhol’s Polaroids. The Basquiat paintings span his career and embody all the elements of his language—street culture, graffiti, comics and jazz—all mixed up in a very personal style. Used as studies for paintings, Warhol’s instant pictures show close-ups of male (above, “Torso model (Victor Hugo)”) and female bodies and of sexual acts; they have an immediate and intimate character that can sometimes be lacking from Warhol’s finished works. The “Ladies and gentlemen” in the title refers to a series of photographs of transvestites. Warhol’s camera had a fixed focus so the only aspect he could manipulate was the framing of the image. For Warhol, these Polaroids were not just nudes, but landscapes.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Jean-Michel Basquiat: paintings. Andy Warhol: ladies & gentlemen sex parts, torsos, Polaroids. Jablonka, Cologne'