Jean-Michel Basquiat

[Cover photo is an collage of Basquiat style sketches and has the inscription 'Jean-Michel Basquiat']

By Emily Bourne.

As an art assignment I was set the task to recreate and research the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I adored him at first glance. Here are some of the results:

[ Basquiat's work showed no apparent thought or technique. Furthermore, he refused to explain his work. He would say "if you can't figure it out, it's your problem." What people at the time couldn't comprehend was how anyone could like his work when it didn't look like the works of the greats: Da vinci, Van Gogh, Michelangelo. Basquiat's work focused less on how to create beautiful looking art - aesthetically pleasing to the eye- and more how to communicate. His brushstrokes were very literal and unforgiving, he used codes and symbols, crossed out words to draw attention to them and created informal paintings that were heavy with meaning. ]

[ His life was turbulent, which would have led to his chaotic style. His parents separated when Basquiat was 7 years old, after his mother began having mental health issues. Basquiat and his two sisters were raised by their father - Hoban, a friend of Basquiat, states that 'his father beat Jean-Michel constantly' and Basquiat later revealed that his father stabbed him once in the buttock due to being caught having sex with his male cousin. ]

[”They’re just racist, most of these people. So they have this image of me: wild man running - you know, wild monkey man, whatever the fuck they think.”]

[ Jean-Michel was an artist - adored for his new creative style or misunderstood for not following conventions. / He joined the 27 club by overdosing on drugs. / 'The Jimi Hendrix of the art world']