He’d probably be at home at the heart of Manila. He would have rented a bedroom space in one of the old buildings. He would have used the dilapidated walls of old cinema houses as his canvas. He would have frequented the underpasses and overpasses to observe people and contemplate about life. With faith, trade, sex and drugs, Basquiat would have loved Quaipo.
Located at the very center of Manila, the Old Downtown of the glory days of 1900s remains to be a good alternative to Divisoria when shopping for cheap goods. It is less crowded on regular days except Fridays and during the Feast of the Black Nazarene when the whole area becomes flooded by devotees and churchgoers. A sizable community of Muslim Filipinos occupy a portion of the district. Commonplace to the Plaza Miranda which is the city square outside Quiapo church are the fortune tellers, street vendors, beggars, bandits and literally people from all walks of life. Quiapo is a place full of nuances and contradictions that I’m sure will inspire many artists.
If American graffiti artist and Neo-expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) were alive, I’m sure he would love the busy and bustling Quaipo .
Its texture, colors, smell and noise plus the strange characters lurking around Plaza Miranda would be perfect inspiration for a great Basquiat painting.
Photographed a picture of a movie poster about the life and times of the artist. Doubled my shots with layer of street vignettes.
This is my tribute to his artistic genius. I love his play with textures, colors and texts that coherently create stunning images pregnant with angsts, politics and poetry. Wish he lived much longer to share to the world more of his talent.
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