Jean-Michel Basquiat | New Exhibition In NYC Is Set For Spring
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Jean-Michel Basquiat | New Exhibition In NYC Is Set For Spring

January 29, 2022 Share

The late, Brooklyn-born artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, will be celebrated this spring in an exciting new exhibit opening in New York City.

Picture this. You are standing in New York City, about to witness one of the greatest artists of the 1980s. On entering the exhibit, you spot a powerful and dazzling image packed with mixed colour, text, great symbolism and mark-making in a raw and uncensored explosion.

Welcome to the world of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a legendary artist of note.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Exposition de Jean-Louis Basquiat (1960-1988) – Fondation Louis Vuitton. Paris, FRANCE – 27/10/2018. photos by IBO / SIPA PRESS. (Sipa via AP Images)

Details are still forthcoming, but the project includes his paintings, drawings, multimedia presentations, ephemera, and artefacts through immersive environments.

According to Secret New York, this exhibition hopes to shed light on the entanglement of his artistic endeavours and personal life “through the lens of his family.”

The self-taught artist of Puerto Rican and Haitian descent became a celebrated phenomenon in a concise amount of time. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat is a painting by Joel Tesch which was uploaded on July 25th, 2020.

Yet the 25-year-old rose to success during the 1980s after joining the Neo-expressionism movement with ease.

“Despite his outsized reputation, Basquiat’s career did not last long—he died at the age of 27 of a heroin overdose in 1988,” says Art News.

Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO© (Same-Oh Crap), a graffiti duo who “wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s, says Arts & Culture.

1982
acrylic, oil stick, and Xerox collage on canvas
96 x 72 in. (243.8 x 182.9 cm)
Signed, titled, inscribed, and dated HUMIDITY Jean-Michel Basquiat ‘Do Not Revenge’ 1982” on the reverse.

This is where rap, punk, and street art coalesced into early hip-hop music culture. 

In a single painting, he would use his instinctive powers of visual language to say everything he wanted to say – and more. 

In the New York art scene of the time, he stood out due to the colour of his skin in the white-washed world of art.

Untitled, a 1982 painting by deceased artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, bought by a Japanese collector, Yusaku Maezawa. Photograph: Sotheby’s/EPA

The intense subject matter of his graffiti-style work – “often meditations centred around race, power, and money–has also come into sharper focus in light of recent societal events,” says Galerie.

He appropriated poetry, drawing, painting and married text and image, abstraction, figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique.

Jean-Michel Basquiat became a fully recognised critically embraced and popularly celebrated artistic phenomenon. His work completely changed the perception of what was to be accepted by a contemporary artist.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Warhol and Basquiat.

Yes, at first glance his art may look like a mothers nightmare but his work speaks for itself.

Basquiat himself complained that critics had an image of him as “a wild man running around”, but curators insisted that Basquiat’s art channelled “his inner child.”

Debates on his work and technique have forever been a big deal.

But his primitive-looking but complex paintings were “laden with colourful imagery and controversial phrases,” says The Culture Trip. Which in those days meant a lot and means even more now.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled, (123 x 157.5 cm), 1981, The Schorr Family Collection | © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2014 / Photo by Kent Pell.

Graffiti artist, musician and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat remains a constant source of inspiration for contemporary artists today. 

His short but seemingly epic life still captures intrigue across the art world.

Sir David Adjaye OBE will lead the exhibit held in Manhattan’s Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea. The exhibition will officially open on April 9th, 2022.

SEE MORE: Georgia O’Keeffe | The Mother of American Modernism Is Back In Basel

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