Get arty with Manarat Al Saadiyat's Canal Zone Party

Sponsored: Celebrate the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat in Abu Dhabi

Get arty with Manarat Al Saadiyat's Canal Zone Party
Lee Jaffe

We might not be able to time travel yet, but this week in Abu Dhabi you can get a sense of what it was like in 1979 New York.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is inviting you to turn back the clocks to one of the most exciting times in artistic history.

Long before Banksy was gaining attention by stealthily painting walls and dramatically shredding paintings at auction, when it came to street art and pushing the boundaries, Jean-Michel Basquiat was the one to watch.

And on Thursday (April 18), Manarat Al Saadiyat will host the Canal Zone Party Remix, by Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, transporting you back to Basquiat's pomp, with an evening of music, dance and art all inspired by the avant-garde artist.

Showcasing Basquiat’s work and influence on the arts scene, pop culture and contemporary art, the artistic hub will transform into an alternative party space on the night, four decades on from the Canal Zone Party that launched his career.

A selection of local DJs will play a blend of early punk, hip-hop and new wave music, as graffiti artists, art installations and video projections take over the venue to channel the spirit of the original event with a local twist. 



The unique night will give a glimpse of Manhattan’s downtown club scene in the late 1970s, where underground culture came to the fore as artists and musicians would meet and begin to establish a new artistic scene that challenged the social and political landscape.

The original Canal Zone Party, held on April 29 1979, was the art-world debut of Jean-Michel Basquiat who was already known in the city as being part of graffiti group SAMO, a collective that plastered their work on subway stations and walls across Manhattan.

Helping to share his influential work and inspire people in Abu Dhabi, Basquiat’s piece Cabra, depicting the fight between Muhammad Ali and Oscar Bonavena, is also on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi and is part of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection.

Free. From 8pm, Thu Apr 18. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, www.manaratalsaadiyat.ae.

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