Κυριακή, 16 Απριλίου 2017

Jean-Michel Basquiat


Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988) was an American artist. He first achieved notoriety 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, post-punk, and street art movements had coalesced. 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.


Basquiat went from being homeless and unemployed to selling a single painting for up to $25,000 in just a matter of several years. In 1976, Basquiat and friend Al Diaz began spray painting graffiti on buildings in Lower Manhattan, working under the pseudonym SAMO. In 1979 Basquiat formed the noise rock band Gray. In 1980, Basquiat starred in O'Brien's independent film Downtown 81. The same year, Basquiat met Andy Warhol at a restaurant. Basquiat presented to Warhol samples of his work, and Warhol was stunned by Basquiat's genius and allure. The two artists later collaborated. Downtown 81 featured some of Gray's recordings on its soundtrack. Basquiat also appeared in the 1981 Blondie music video "Rapture". He had an affair with Madonna in 1982 and worked briefly with David Bowie. He died of a heroin overdose at his art studio at age 27.