Jean-Michel Basquiat. What’s the secret to success?
Having passed away in 1988 at the age of 27, Jean-Michel Basquiat left behind an unimaginable number of works that are now being sold at the most prestigious auctions. Buyers, among whom Leonardo DiCaprio was noticed, are ready to give millions of dollars in order to get a piece of Basquiat’s work in their collection. What is the secret of a graffiti artist whose neo-expressionist paintings are more reminiscent of scribbles in a notebook?
Probably, the whole point is in provocative socio-political inscriptions that conceal a deep meaning. Jean-Michel tried to convey to the representatives of the “white art” the disgusting racial discrimination that flourished in the 70s. Half Haitian and half Puerto Rican, Basquiat was well aware of the feelings of the inhabitants of the “black neighborhoods”.
The thought that the “whites” thought they were the superior race angered him. Moreover, Jean-Michel himself had a decent education: his parents supported him, contributed to the all-round development of his beloved child. The young artist, in addition to English, spoke fluent Spanish and French, and visited art museums in his native Brooklyn.
Basquiat began to paint his first graffiti at the age of 17, when he left home. He was engaged in arts together with a friend. The guys signed their masterpieces with the mysterious phrase SAMO shit. The inscription was decrypted as same old shit (translated as “the same old shit”). Walls next to bohemian clubs or galleries in Manhattan were painted.
This is how Jean-Michel made himself felt to the “official white art”. And he earned his living by drawing and selling postcards. He sold one of them to Andy Warhol himself (Andy Warhol; August 6, 1928 February 22, 1987, USA): seeing the famous artist through the window of the cafe, the guy just went there and offered to buy a postcard for one dollar.
Warhol liked the postcard. He bought it, but did not continue his acquaintance with the young talent. However, they met again three years later. By that time, Basquiat’s work was selling for no less than ten thousand dollars. Painting, in addition to the walls, all kinds of street trash, Jean-Michel managed to create real art objects. If there was no trash or a wall, banal canvases and paper were used.
The first exhibition, where Basquiat took part, took place in 1980. It was The Times Square Show a group exhibition that gave way to life for Enzo Cook, David Sale, Francesco Clemente Jean-Michel was the first among black artists who was recognized by the world of “white art Despite this, the theme of racial discrimination continues to be traced in the young man’s works: the spirit of fighting this evil did not leave Basquiat for a second.
Contemporary art critics insist that the work of this artist cannot be called anything other than wall painting. Museums do not take the risk of acquiring Basquiat’s works for storage and do not seek to include them in exhibitions. Meanwhile, collectors are ready to part with millions in order to decorate the home gallery with at least a piece of the fence, painted by Jean-Michel Basquiat