The OWHL Artist of the Week is Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat was an American artist. Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s where the hip hop, punk, and street art movements had coalesced. By the 1980s, he was exhibiting his neo-expressionist paintings in galleries and museums internationally. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.
Basquiat’s art focused on “suggestive dichotomies”, such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience.He appropriated poetry, drawing, and painting, and married text and image, abstraction, figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique.
Basquiat used social commentary in his paintings as a “springboard to deeper truths about the individual”, as well as attacks on power structures and systems of racism, while his poetics were acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism and support for class struggle. He died of a heroin overdose at his art studio at age 27.
On May 18, 2017, at a Sotheby’s auction, Basquiat’s 1982 painting, also Untitled, created with oil stick and spray paint and depicting a skull, set a new record high for any U.S. artist at auction, selling for $110,500,000. [via wiki]
Race, Power, Money: The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat [The Guardian]
Banksy’s Latest Mural Pays Tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat [Highsnobiety]
Seeing Beyond Basquiat’s Market Value [Hyperallergic]
All Dazed Articles on Basquiat [Dazed]
Burning Out [Vanity Fair]
The Jean-Michel Basquiat I knew… [The Guardian]
The Jean-Michel Basquiat You Haven’t Seen [New York Times]
Jean-Michel Basquiat: “Painter to the Core” [Christie’s]
At the Barbican [London Review of Books]
Basquiat, Horn Players [Khan Academy]
Basquiat’s Tragedy [National Review]
Biography of Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat [ThoughCo.]
The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Legacy of a Cultural Icon [The Culture Trip]
Jean-Michel Basquiat Commemorative Plaque [Atlas Obscura]
Bowie, Bach, and Bebop: How music powered Basquiat [New York Times]
Driving Mr. Basquiat [Huffington Post]
The Off-the-Wall Brilliance of Jean-Michel Basquiat [Financial Times]