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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.