The Poetry Project

Basil King : Mirage

Nicole Peyrafitte & Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

About Basil King: Mirage

‘I am a painter and a writer, and I follow these two habits, making lines that are not always linear,’ says then 77-years old Brooklyn working artist Basil King. This 22-minute film depicts the vital ongoing dedication and intimacy between his writing and painting. The mapping of multiple layers of King’s interior terrain is structured via his reading of the autobiographical poem ‘Mirage’ and his paintings. King’s syncretic aesthetics were shaped by early childhood in WWII London, friendship with San Francisco Renaissance poets, apprenticeship to Abstract Expressionist painters Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko, by his mentors and friends at Black Mountain College, including Robert Creeley and Charles Olson, and by his relationship with friends like Franz Kline, Franck O’Hara, Fielding Dawson and Paul Blackburn.

House Party #11