Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Cultural Icon And Street Art Legend
Jun 30, 2021
Basquiat was and is still one of the most influential artists in contemporary and modern art. His work is sold for millions and has inspired thousands of people around the world. If you have never heard of him, you are sleeping on one of the best contemporary artists the world has to offer.
Here is everything you need to know about Basquiat and his life as an artist.
Who Was Jean-Michel Basquiat?
Basquiat was born in New York in the 60s to Puerto Rican and Haitian parents. He had a rough childhood because his father believed in physical punishment, because of which Basquiat suffered a lot. On the other hand, his mother was struggling with a mental illness.
The first establishment of Basquiat’s art was a graffiti collaboration he did with his friend Al Diaz. The collaboration was known as SAMO (same old shit). When Basquiat was seventeen years old, he got involved with drugs and left school to move to the streets.
At that time, he was highly influenced by the party culture and would spend his days doing drugs and partying. He also DJ’d in various art spheres such as the Mudd Club and many others. Keep in mind that he was not just someone that was throwing his life away.
Basquiat partied because his love for poetry and art went beyond anything else. He became involved in the cultural Renaissance at the time in New York. During that time, he also incorporated poetry with his artwork.
Basquiat met Deigo Cortez at the Mudd Club in the 80s and took his advice by painting and drawing. He became one of the most influential artists in a short span, as in 1982, his artwork was entirely sold out. During the same year, he also did his first show in LA at the Gagosian Gallery.
If you know anything about art, you know that you have made it as an artist if you exhibit at the Gagosian. Basquiat wall art was something everyone wanted to get their hands on at the time. After that, his fame enhanced, and he became friends with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.
The Work Of Jean-Michel Basquiat
There have been many movements in the world of art. Every artist falls into at least one of the categories. Basquiat's work is famously known to fall within the movement of Neo-Expressionism. The movement exploded in the 80s and is famous for the rough handling of material.
Each artist has their own unique style, and they take inspiration from their life. Basquiat's inspiration was drawn from his heritage and his difficult childhood. It was not easy for him to live as a black man in the 80s, which later influenced his art.
He used his art to criticize the racism that happened to African Americans and the colonialism at the time. Keep in mind that he did not openly use his art to criticize these things. The beauty of Basquiat’s art is that he used subtlety such as motifs to convey his message to the world.
Basquiat did not just criticize racism and classism at the time through the use of crowns, as he also used them as a symbol of his own status at the time. You can also see the ideas of history being dissected in the artwork. That is because as a young boy, Basquiat got into a car accident.
Because of this accident, Basquiat was in the hospital for quite a while. To pass his time in the hospital, his mother gifted him a set of Grey's Anatomy. That was when he became interested in reconfiguration and dissection.
That is why he spent much of his life and career dissecting history and deconstructing it. You can see these ideas in his artwork with the use of motifs of various elements of the body and the feet.
The Death Of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Unfortunately, not everyone can stay forever, and some people go before their time. Basquiat passed away in 1988 when he was twenty-seven years old. His untimely death was a result of a heroin overdose in his home in Manhattan.
At that time, his artwork was constantly misrepresented and misread as people believed his art is low class and lacks the style to be of a high standard. Of course, Basquiat proved them all wrong as now his artwork sells for hundreds of millions of dollars. He had a significant impact on the art and fashion society during his time.
That is because he used fashion and collaborations to convey his message to the world. At that time, you did not see many African American artists in this scene, but it all changed after Basquiat. He inspired many artists to pursue their dreams and express themselves despite their identities.
He is an influential figure for many African artists, and many people still celebrate him and his work. While society is much better than before, there is still discrimination that needs to be countered. Basquiat's art is a ray of hope for many people that face discrimination because of their color to this date.
If you are looking to have an influential piece of art in your home, you should look no further than a Basquiat canvas. They are beautiful, and they will add to the aesthetics of your home. You can add it to your living or workspace, depending on the print.
While the original artwork sells for millions of dollars, you can always invest in an affordable Basquiat wall art as a reminder of one of the legends in the art world. Basquiat was a cultural icon, and he influenced millions of people through his art.
Such legends should never be forgotten, which is why his artwork is perfect for any home. For more beautiful prints, feel free to browse through the rest of our website. You will find Basquiat prints and much more that you will fall in love with within no time.
You might also like: 6 Ways Keith Haring Impacted The Art World.