Tag Archives: Basil King: Mirage

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Our UK Tour—October 9 to November 5

Basil buys sausage
Basil buys sausage

October 9:    Images from our first day

London – A rest before readings, talks, and screening of “Basil King:MIRAGE” to come in Canterbury and at Kent University on the 10th and 11th.    A rest we thought, in a modest chain hotel on Bankside.  Turned out we were just down the street from Southwark Cathedral, just down the riverbank from Tate Modern, just around the corner from the reconstructed Globe.  The hotel was attached at the back to the Anchor, one of the oldest pubs in London.

We did it all.

Bankside was horrendous slums when Baz was a boy. Warehouses, rooming houses, dens too rank for his mother to ever be tempted to cross London Bridge, though she often took him for long walks down to the Embankment from their home off Commercial Street in the East End.

Gem of the area now: Borough Market. It has been in operation since before the Norman Conquest, really. Today a major destination, with both Victorian, 20th and 21st century updates. My photos aren’t for vegetarians.  Baz loved the boar sausage!





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NEWS: Screenings of “Basil King:MIRAGE”


Screenings of the film, scheduled to date:

October 10, 2013:   Kent University, Canterbury, UK

October 17, 2013:  Sussex University, Brighton, UK

October 22, 2013:  Oxford Brookes School of Arts, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

January 9, 2014:   Asheville Museum, Asheville, NC

Previously screened at The Beverly Film Festival, Beverly, MA, and at Mark Lamoureaux’s loft, New Haven, CT.

For more about the film and the filmmakers, including the trailer,  visit  basilkingmirage.net

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NEWS: New Haven Screening

Two words: quiet and intense.  Martha read from memoir about moving to New York in 1957—and finding a place where Baz could paint and they could live for $50 a month.  Down at the bottom of Manhattan Island, a block from Battery Park, when that was below what the cops called the “Fulton Street deadline.” It was almost totally uninhabited and fabulously empty all night long.

Baz read selections from Learning to Draw, showing one more time how all the intertwining parts of that epic can recombine, reorder, and be seen in different combinations  like paintings in a museum or cards in the deck.   There was Camille (Monet) on her deathbed and the Towering Ace from “Wild Cards”;  Bill Traylor, the cave painters, and Cy Twombly from “In the Movies”.   There was Hans Holbein the Younger arriving at Black Mountain with a suitcase and a small hamper of brushes and paints (from “The Real Thing Has Four Parts”) and there were the smells, sounds, images of September 11, 2001 from “Twin Towers.”

Learning to Draw Then Mark Lamoureaux projected the film,  “Basil King: MIRAGE.”  We had to do the reading first because sunlight streams into their high floor near Wooster Square till well past 9 pm and Mark and Rachel have white translucent blinds.

Mark had a screen and a projector for the DVD disk.  But not the BluRay version.  It was so well received people asked to see it again.  As a filmic introduction to painter/poet Basil King it is quite properly layered, nuanced, intricate and deserving of multiple viewings.  Once again, thanks to Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.

Stay tuned for news of  future screenings!

Baz in his studio - the same shelf of chalks is the opening visual of the film
Baz in his studio – the same shelf of chalks is the opening visual of the film

ABOUT the film        http://basilkingmirage.net/

See the TRAILER      https://vimeo.com/35652974


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NEWS: “Basil King: MIRAGE” to play in New Haven

NEWS:  June 19, 2013.     Mark Lamoureux  and Rachel Chatalbash are hosting a screening of  the film, “Basil King: MIRAGE” and the video of  the conversation between Basil and George Quasha, “Art is Not Natural,” at 7:30 PM in their loft in New Haven.  The film, created by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, is a portrait of the artist featuring his paintings, graphics, and text from his long poem, mirage.

Basil and Martha will be on hand to read their prose and poetry and talk.  Books will be for sale at “reading” prices – and guests are welcome.  Visit Mark Lamoureux’s  EVENTS page on Facebook for details.Martha & Basil King


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Students at UNNCArts comment on “Basil King: MIRAGE”


Julian Semilian


Filmmaker and poet Julian Semilian screened the film for his students in experimental film at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem). (The school’s ‘movie street’ is seen above.) He sent these comments:

I can see why Nicole insisted on blu ray. It looked spectacular. It also made a huge difference seeing it on a large screen.

This is the first time that my students were THAT talkative after a movie. One of the comments was that this was a film made by an artist about an artist. They emphasized this more than once.

We had looked at films about other artists (Motherwell, Rothko, Bourgeois, Eggleson, Robert Frank) but never before did they feel that involved. The main thing…they liked was that the filmmaker stayed out of the way of the subject….They loved the construction, blending the art with Baz’s reading of his auto-biographical poem, so that we get to know the fusion and mirroring of Baz and art. And they really appreciated seeing the art so large. At the end…I spoke to them about Black Mountain (only one student knew a little about it), some of the other principal characters, and about Frank O’Hara. Next week I am going to read them some O’Hara poems. All in all, a splendid evening. I felt happy and proud to make a connection between the generations.




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Beverly Film Festival features “Basil King: MIRAGE”

The screening is this Friday, November 9, at 8:00pm, in the first festival showing of Nicole and Miles’ wonderful documentary. For folks near Beverly, Massachusetts, check out the details here:


The film has been entered in a number of other festivals over the coming months.  More news about the film here:   http://basilkingmirage.net/news.html

And for an overview of the event at Anthology Film Archives on September 22 check out the blog page above.



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UPDATE on Basil’s Arc

Please note a few key program changes: the film begins promptly at 5:15.

The reading of King’s writings at 3:20 will feature Joe Elliot, Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones, Martha King, Mitch Highfill and Michael Mann.

The basic plan is unchanged: “Basil’s Arc – The Paintings and Poetics of Basil King” at Anthology Film Archives on September 22, 2012, starts at noon and ends at 6pm.

The focus is the visual art of Basil King and includes conversations (illustrated with slides), original music inspired by King’s images and texts, and culminates with the debut screening of Basil King: Mirage, a film created by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, commissioned by the Friends of Basil King.


12:00 noon   – Doors open.  Coffee.  Book table for examination or sale.

12:20  KIMBERLY LYONS:  Welcome remarks.

BURT KIMMELMAN: On the Friends of Basil King and why the Friends made this event.

12:40  DANIEL STANIFORTH:  “The Green Man,”  a music video.  Staniforth’s original music and images from King’s The Green Man paintings.

1:00   “Origins and Sources”

ANDREW LEVY, MC, with EDNA AUGUSTA, HARRY LEWIS, and TOM PATTERSON: Tom Patterson on why Basil is not an “outsider” artist but a “hidden insider artist.”  Harry Lewis on two paintings done when King was in high school and how they relate to King’s mature art. Edna Augusta, archivist, on her experience of discovering King’s art.  Open for audience questions and comments.

2:15    “The Poetics of Basil King’s Art”

VINCENT KATZ, MC, with TOM FINK, PAOLO JAVIER, and BARRY SCHWABSKY:  A wide ranging, conversational dialogue that tackles themes including hybridity, embodiment of image, poetic and visual line and color, spatiality and surface, and engagement with precursors in King’s work.  Open for audience questions and comments.

3:20     “Selected texts by Basil King”

MITCH HIGHFILL, curator, with invited readers, and a performance of  “I have a little song” with original music by NICOLE PEYRAFITTE and text from King’s Mirage.

4:00  “Place and Placelessness in Basil King’s Art”

KIMBERLY LYONS, MC, with WILLIAM BENTON, LAURIE DUGGAN, and GEORGE QUASHA: Taking off from King’s points of arrival, arriving at unknown ground, and figuring the where his paintings bring us to. With reference to the American and the European, geographic and minute, local/personal and art historical. Open for audience questions and comments.

5:10  NICOLE PEYRAFITTE and MILES JORIS-PEYRAFITTE, filmmakers: Brief remarks about the making of the film, shot in Basil King’s studio January, 2012.

Premiere of the 22-minute film, Basil King: MIRAGE

5:45  KIMBERLY LYONS:  Brief concluding remarks. All are invited to the B Bar and Grill, East 4th Street at Bowery, after the program. Cash bar.

Basil and Martha King in the studio


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“Basil King: Mirage” – a film

The Friends of Basil King are launching a fundraising drive to complete this film and present “Basil’s Arc” The Paintings and Poetics of Basil King” September 22, 2012  in New York City. Here’s the one-minute trailer:


(Lunar Chandelier, Kim Lyon’s small press,  is hosting the online donations.)
If you prefer to SEND A CHECK, make it out to Kimberly Lyons, with “Basil’s Arc” on the memo line. Mail to Kim c/o V. Bakaitis, 323 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Many thanks!  The Friends of Basil King – Mitch Highfill, Vincent Katz, Burt Kimmelman, Kimberly Lyons