Friday, December 14, 2012

Basquiat Presentation

Jean Michel Basquiat

Basquiat's Upbringing
                Born December 22, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York to Matilda A. and Gerard Basquiat
                He was a gifted child who picked up the concepts of writing and drawing at an early age due to his mothers encouragement. She often found the time to take him to the New York Museum. by the time he was 6, he was a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum
                His mom was of Puerto Rican descent and his father was Haitian, a mix that attributed to him fluently speaking and writing in French, Spanish, and English
                Basquiat's upbringing became flawed as he was hit by a car when he was 8, he mourned the loss of his brother Max, his parents divorced, which was a contributing factor into his mom being institutionalized
Growing up, he made claims that his father physically and mentally abused him, which led him to run away, and latter move in with a friend of his. His troubles didn't stop there as he dropped out of Edward Murrow High School in the 10th grade when he was 15

Introduction into the Art world
                In 1972 with the company of his friend Al Diaz, the two started spray painting buildings in Lower Manhattan under the street name SAMO meaning "Same Old Shit"
                In 1978 the anti-establishment, anti-religion, anti-politics graffiti was praised by the Village Voice
                The following year, Basquiat and Diaz parted ways. Their split was seen written on buildings with the phrase 'SAMO is dead". Later this year Jean started to make a name for himself by getting booked on public access t.v. shows, which he continued to appear on for the next 5 years
                When cash became an issue, he began selling drugs and shopping around homemade t-shirts and postcards in an attempt to get off of the streets
In 1980 he was included in a Times Square art show, which prepped him for his first solo art show in SoHo in 1982

Basquiat's Style
                Basquiat's fame sprouted during the German Non-Expressionist movement. During this time period, he often drew on the sidewalk in addition to his former graffiti technique
                This movement marked the return of painting and brought back the minimalistic concepts of the human figure
                The “African Diaspora” and “Americana” were two works that gave him critical acclaim in the mid 1980s
                Throughout the '80s, Basquait continued on his rise to fame becoming the youngest artist to showcase 6 major art shows worldwide. He also became well known overseas landing a spot in Germany's Documenta art show which took place every 5 years
                In the successful part of his career, he created about 200 paintings and crafted a crown outlined in black as his signature
                From 1984-1986 Basquiat teamed up with the equally famous Andy Warhol and collaborated on a series of paintings such as “Ten Punching Bags”. It is said that Warhol would paint the canvas first and Basquiat would add on to his work
Though being praised by New York Times magazine, Basquiat started to withdrawal himself from the art world, especially after Warhol's death in 1987, which was around the time his drug addiction became the topic of discussion amongst the art world

                Basquiat died on August 12, 1987 at the young age of 27 due to a drug overdose
                Along with Warhol, he became known for doing Pop Art pieces of work as well as Minimalistic pieces of artwork
                Basquiat's story and art work continue to serve as an example of what could possible happen if artists choose to take on the fame and give in to their bad habits as opposed to portraying their emotions into their artwork
                Over the years, his artwork has been put on display in the Whitney Museum (1990) and the Brooklyn Museum (2005)
                His lifestyle has been depicted in numerous biographies
                He is heavily praised in literature as well as biopics and his influences can still be bragged about in the hip-hop culture and amongst many A-list celebrities. His work sells for well over $115 million with some pieces being sold for $12-16 million

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