Boiling Point and John Lewis, by Basil Watson

July 27, 2020
(Used by permission of the artist)

The human form “capture[s] the energy, motivation and spirit that are reflected in every as­pect of the subject,” says Basil Watson, a Jamaican artist now based in Georgia. When such forms are gathered with fists raised in united protest and hope, their energy is exponential. Whether it’s a bust of Rep. John Lewis, who died this month, or the gathering of purpose and challenge in the multiple-figured Boiling Point, Watson’s work is inspired by what he calls “the heroic in mankind.” Boiling Point, created in 1986 as the world watched black South Africans protest apartheid, is a tribute to persistent protest. It currently exists as a maquette; Watson is seeking support to create it at monument scale near the site of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis and then in other cities around the United States.