Tag Archives: Friends of Basil King

ART Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Movies News

SPECIAL NOTE-“Basil King:MIRAGE” film is available. Use these links!

Links to the website for the film, “Basil King: MIRAGE” are disabled. But the film is available!

Opening title for the film on Basil King.

To see a 2-minute preview, use this:

To view the entire 22-minute film, first email <gpwitd1@gmail.com> for the private password.  Then go:  http://vimeo.com/48322393

 To purchase a Blu-Ray CD of the film (for the best reproduction) -suitable for any non-commercial use- contact gpwitd1@gmail.com. The CD is available for $25, which includes shipping and handling.

ART Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Movies News

Congratulations Miles Joris-Peyrafitte!

With great pleasure – but not that much surprise – we note the SUNDANCE film festival’s special jury award for Miles’s first full-length feature As You Are.

The Joris Peyrafitte family at Sundance, January 2016
The Joris Peyrafitte family at Sundance, January 2016

The lack of surprise is due to seeing Miles work when he was still a Bard College undergrad on the 2013 short Basil King: MIRAGE along with his mother, multimedia artist, Nicole Peyrafitte. Seen above, poet (and dad) Pierre Joris, Miles, Nicole, and brother Joseph Mastantuono, who did post- production on both the King film and Miles’ new dramatic feature, at SUNDANCE.

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte filming "Basil King: MIRAGE"
Miles Joris-Peyrafitte filming “Basil King: MIRAGE”
Working with Nicole Peyrafitte on "Basil King: MIRAGE
Nicole Peyrafitte at work on “Basil King: MIRAGE”

This film, commissioned by The Friends of Basil King, takes 22 minutes to present an introduction to Basil King’s art and poetry, with skillful filming of his work and his studio and a voice-over narration provided by King reading from this 2003 book, mirage: a poem in 22 sections.

It has since been screened at the Beverly Mass. Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (the premiere), Kent and Sussex universities and Brookes Oxford Art School in England, the Asheville Museum, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, and informally at readings in London, New Haven and New York.

Opening title for the film on Baz.
Opening title for the film.

There will be a screening this coming fall at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center in connection with their exhibition of Basil King’s art.  For more information about the film and the trailer: basilkingmirage.net

ART Basil King Poetry

A Book Cover Brag

On behalf of the Friends of Basil King I’ve been researching the covers Basil King has done for poetry books, since 1959.

Magazine edited by (then) LeRoi Jones and Hettie Cohen-Jones

2013--this coming September.
New and Selected Poems, Burt Kimmelman

Here is 2013.  Burt Kimmelman’s book, Gradually the World, is not yet officially released – there will be a book launch at Poets House in the fall of 2013.

I think there are 47 examples. Some of my notes say 46.   Of which these two are the almost oldest and  the very latest.  After looking at them together,  one would know Basil’s work anywhere.

But on the other hand, who did all these different looks?

Learning to Draw


Laurie Duggan, John Godfrey, and Kimberly Lyons
Laurie Duggan, John Godfrey, and Kimberly Lyons
ART Basil King Martha King Movies Readings Writing

“After the Movie”

art by Basil King - March, 2012
“After the Movie, for Nicole and Miles” - mm/canvas, 48” x 34” - © Basil King, 2012

The movie making upended us both more than we expected.  Like moving studio or household to a new place…many old corners get excavated.  It’s supposed to be cleansing – a chance to toss out detritus – and it is until suddenly it’s, “I did WHAT?”   Or worse: “Why didn’t I finish this?  Follow that?  Give a good answer?” Why didn’t I save….”

I had gone through boxes and books of old photos, looked for lost documents, written to people about lost works.  Finding too many unanswered questions. Baz –six years after publication—was asked to read all of Mirage aloud so excerpts can be on hand as voiceovers for the film.  He hadn’t remembered how autobiographical it is.  Reliving through reimagination.  Art is?  Mirage is.  Mirage: a poem in 22 sections.

In addition my contributions to the job of persuading friends and collectors to contribute funds for the completion of the film –an ongoing effort, by the way–

Please scroll down for the trailer and the DONATE button!

–we both came to a dead stop in our own work.   Mine is still in recovery, as I’m sorting for another different way to enter. Baz has bounced back. See above.  AND:


graphic, Basil King, March 2012
“The House that was a Card” – mm/paper, 40” x 26” - © Basil King, 2012
art, Basil King, March 2012
“Mr & Mrs/Mrs & Mr Heart” –mm/canvas, diptych, left side, 48” x 34” - © Basil King, 2012


art - Basil King, March 2012
Mr & Mrs/Mrs & Mr Heart, diptych, right side, 48" x 34", c Basil King, 2012
ART Basil King Exhibitions Martha King Poetry

Friends of Basil King and Mirage: Basil King

Kim Lyons has organized a small group of poets as “Friends of Basil King” to do something to focus some attention on King’s extraordinary output of visual art. They in turn have gathered some 20 others willing to serve as advisors.

An event – Their plan is an event, “Basil’s Arc – The Paintings and Poetics of Basil King,” which will present readings, original music, panel discussions, and possibly papers on King’s art, along with a film, designed to show the paintings.  SAVE the date!  September 22, 2012.  New York City.  Venue TBD.

A film – Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte have been commissioned to create the film. They came up with the idea of using the text of King’s book  Mirage: a poem in 22 sections as the spine, or narrative thread, for a film whose images will almost exclusively be his paintings and graphics, throughout.

The source – Mirage is King’s most explicitly autobiographical work but the selected selections will bracket some big themes in his work rather than trying to present a life story.   As it’s developing, the film will probably cover three of them:

Cards, both structurally and iconographically – This is a graphic, colored pencil on paper, from “Wild Cards.”

Brooklyn and domestic life. Here’s a large painting from Basil’s “My Brooklyn” series:

Bird - My Brooklyn










War and its aftermath — This is a work on paper from his “Looking for the Green Man” series.





We are currently struggling to organize works to be filmed in as efficient a way as possible so this can be accomplished in just two days later this month.  Anyone who has visited Basil King’s studio on the third and fourth floors of our narrow house in Brooklyn will appreciate how this involves dancing on the head of a pin.

We’ve also dug though old scrap books for photos and documents to find appropriate accompaniments.  To much merriment!  And some real wrenches.I’ll report more on this as it develops.

partial view of studio...