Thursday, January 6, 2011


Last night Raoul and I watched a documentary about Jean-Michel Basquiat and because he's such an interesting artist I would rather write about him instead of adding him to the "movie time" list.
Jean-Michel Basquiat went from a care free 20 year old run away, living on the streets and asking for change to making art that would sell 5-20 G's a piece. In the early 80's that was huge! Soon after his art took off he became close friends with Andy Warhol and even dated Madonna for a short period of time. His art appealed to so many people and what I love the most is that he always had something to say. He did pieces with "brown" people with crowns, which I love. Crowns are so special to me now since Niko's middle name is "Rey" (means king in Spanish). Portraying his people as kings is beautiful to me. Some of Basquiat's work was so detailed and had writing on it and at the time, high art was very minimal and just plain boring. Jean-Michel was a breath of fresh air for the art world and most of his reviews were about his personality and not his art. Seeing interviews of him, I would say he had charm but he thought the press was racist. Another thing I like about him is is honesty, that's priceless and rare. His work had so much demand and was under extreme pressure, he began taking drugs like heroin to concentrate and after Andy Warhol died in February of 1988, his drug problem got worse and overdosed in August of 1988 at the young age of 27. Basquiat is recognized as one of the most influential artist of the 20th century and left over 1,000 paintings and 1,000 drawings. It's so shocking to me that people who are so smart like him die of something so stupid like drugs. Jean-Michel was incredibly smart too, he spoke Spanish, French and English and loved listening to bee-boop.
SAMO -  Jean Michel and his friend Al Diaz started writing on walls under the name SAMO all over Soho New York, meaning Same Old Shit in the late seventies -  early eighties. But unlike the common style of graffiti, he wrote strong statements that caught people off guard. That was only the beginning.

Samo photos source: here. Basquiat and art: Google.

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