Tag Archives: Mirage

ART Basil King Critique Movies Poetry

September 22: Basil King at Anthology Film Archives

The Friends of Basil King will present “Basil’s Arc – The Paintings and Poetics of Basil King” at Anthology Film Archives,  32 Second Avenue at Second Street, New York City, on Saturday, September 22, 2012, from 12 noon to 6 pm.

Sponsored by Lunar Chandelier Press — this free event includes conversations about King’s visual art illustrated by slides, with critics and poets including Edna Augusta, William Benton, Laurie Duggan, Tom Fink, Mitch Highfill, Vincent Katz, Burt Kimmelman, Harry Lewis, Kimberly Lyons, Tom Patterson, George Quasha, Corinne Robbins, Barry Schwabsky, Lilly Wei, and others….

Along with these discussions there will be performances of original music inspired by King images (“The Green Man”  by Daniel Staniforth) and King text (“I Have a Little Song” from Mirage, by Nicole Peyrafitte).

"Two Kings--Green" - from the King of Diamonds series, mm/canvas, 44" x 60", 2011, ©Basil King.

Brief selections from King’s texts will be read by invited poets.

The highlight of the event will be the debut screening of a 22-minute film portrait, Basil King: MIRAGE, commissioned by The Friends of Basil King, and created by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.

Save the date! You are invited!


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“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
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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...