Basil King: Mirage
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Basil King: Mirage

“I am a painter and a writer, and I follow these two habits, making lines that are not always linear.” —Basil King

This documentary by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte depicts the intimacy between writing and painting in Brooklyn-based artist Basil King’s life and work. The mapping of the multiple layers of King’s interior terrain is keyed to his reading of sections from his autobiographical book mirage: a poem in 22 sections (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003).

King’s aesthetics have been shaped by his early childhood in World War II London; friendships with poets of the San Francisco Renaissance; apprenticeship to Abstract Expressionist painters Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko in New York; and by his mentors and friends at Black Mountain College, including Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and John Wieners. Since 1958, he has been producing covers and art for poetry books. In the 1980s, he began writing alongside his daily painting practice. 2012, 22 minutes, DVD.

Basil King: Mirage screens as part of Rain Taxi @20. King and director Nicole Peyrafitte will appear for a book-signing at the Walker from 5:30 to 6 pm.