IMPOSSIBLE MATCH - LIL NAS X + BASQUIAT
It really is the perfect match right?
Well think about it - two incredibly talented men who found fame on the forefront of artistic expression for their time, both a dry sense of humor that they apply to their lives in the spotlight and to the people that don't understand their work.
They share a certain attitude, which was the first thing that made me connected in my mind. I've seen a lot of interviews with Basquiat and I recognized a similar vibe in the way that Lil Nas talks about his work - very nonchalant but with a clear maturity and confidence in his abilities. In fact, the level of self-belief is impressively solid in both men - and impressively effortless
I'm not a real person. I'm a legend. JMB
I want to build to that mogul, legendary level. LNX
Then when it comes to talking about people who don't get it, and those who use him as a target for their racism, he has the same friendly humorous disdain that Basquiat did - with an air of being unconcerned - paying them barely any mind - knowing that his work is more important and speaks for him.
I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is. JMB
Live your life to its fullest potential and don't really care too much about what other people think of you. LNX
This would be something very useful to share with a partner - a similar set of values and a common approach to creativity and public perception could be a foundation for a peaceful safe space to step away to - an important function that relationships can serve, especially when so many people feel connected to you/ownership of you.
By the time he was Lil Nas' age - Basquiat already had a huge bank of references - having a junior membership for the Brooklyn Museum since the age of six, and an aggressive hunger for all kinds of art, and anatomy. Lil Nas doesn't have the same diverse cultural interests and instead seems to have an aggressive hunger for internet culture, especially twitter. In both cases, these areas of focus have had a significant impact on their work and I think an exchange between these experiences would be very sweet, imagine Basquiat taking Lil Nas to exhibitions - and Lil Nas explaining internet culture and memes on the way there.
In fact, as someone who mastered the media, self-promotion, and advertising of the time, imagine what Basquiat could have done with social media. And as someone who explores genres of music and squeezes the musical and aesthetic influences out of them to create new things with - imagine what Lil Nas could do with all of the artists tucked away in Basquiat's brain.
When you look at their work - you see so many of the same themes - even their respective more important works are similar - they clearly both have similar associations with horses...
"Basquiat was channeling his prowess into paintings that spoke directly to a wider audience searching for an artistic voice that spoke for a new generation, this work combined influences from a number of orthodox and unorthodox sources, positioning Basquiat to become the artistic voice of his generation."
Which is kind of exactly what Lil Nas was doing with old town road.
Another focus of their work has been to defy the expectations of a black man, subvert stereotypes and celebrate the beauty and success of the black community - lots of royal and heavenly imagery, along with more upsetting imagery aimed at critiquing the systems that oppress them.
'Old Town Road' came after a period of feeling like I was out of options. I was living with my sister. She was pretty much fed up with me being there. LNX
I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life. JMB
Lil Nas famously put out Old Town Road when staying with his sister with next to no money and no job - and Basquiat came truly from nothing as well. The rise to fame and wealth through their work saw them both remaining grounded and humbled - but it seems as though Lil Nas has processed the trauma of having nothing a little more than Basquiat was able to - this would be a lovely area for support between them.
Once there was money in the bank, both men have given back - though Lil Nas' charitable donations may be more effective than Basquiat's approach of giving handfuls of cash to homeless people he came across on the street. With money also came FASHION - both love fashion and spending money on beautiful things to wear. With two quite different, yet quite complementary aesthetics, they could share clothes or at least look excellent together at openings and awards ceremonies.
They both were visionaries focused on creating new and exciting art
They both broke through exclusive institutions, able to give strong critiques against those systems and in turn - change them
They both could learn a lot from each other
Basquiat could provide depth, influence and appreciation for the past, Lil Nas could provide a more level-headed approach to fame and a more open and honest way of living as a queer person. In fact, Lil Nas seems to take things more lightly, and this could be a great influence on Basquiat - who felt the pain of it all more deeply.
Well, another impossible match and another peek into my matchmaker's brain - to be honest, I am enjoying making these so much - it feels a little creepy sometimes but also really nice to be able to explain the thought process around some of Matchmaking - the different things that let me know if two people would be good together - and what it could mean for them.
Let me know what you think!