The contribution of the world-famous artist Jean-Michel Basquiat to the arts has expanded beyond his paintbrush.
His experience in Brooklyn, New York, with its roots in Hatian and Puerto Rico, inspired the creativity behind his work, which touched upon the social and cultural stories that continue to be relevant today.
More than 30 years after his death, at the age of 27, Basquiat’s influence in the arts has been passed down to intriguing people inspired by his work, including his family. His sisters Jean-Michel Basquiat and Ryan Fitzpatrick, along with his stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick, initially considered curating an exhibition of Basquiat’s work in 2017, but the world. Is a socially unfair protest and a COVID 19 pandemic.
After that, the family vision was realized through “Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure”. This is an exhibition featuring 200 recovered paintings, drawings and various collections from the late artist, previously hidden from public. Held on Saturday, the exhibition spans more than 15,000 square feet in Manhattan’s Starrett-Lehighville, recreating a studio, nightclub, and childhood home room in New York City, Basquiat, through his life through the eyes of a friend. You can get a glimpse of. And family. Upon entering, patrons hear Basquiat’s voice chanting Genesis, a Bible chapter detailing the creation of mankind.
“The theme is really Jean-Michel as a human being,” said Helivo. “Before he became an artist, he was a son. He was a brother. He was a nephew — and we were Jean-Michel’s human side and where he came from. I’m trying to show our personal relationship with him as a child. “
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Basquiat grew up surrounded by a family that fully embraced their culture and identity. Many of his early 1980s works, such as “Gold Griot,” “Big Joy,” and “Hollywood Africans,” speak of the black experience and their portrayal of society. Throughout his career, many of his works have incorporated graffiti such as “Self-Portrait”, which helped graffiti to be recognized in the world of elite art.
Basquiat’s art was first exhibited in a group exhibition called the “Times Square Show” in 1980. In 1981, he created one of his many influential works, the Red Kings. It featured the crown that became the signature of his painting.
Basquiat collaborated with several artists, including his longtime friend Andy Warhol, whom Basquiat painted with him in his 1982 work Dosca Besus. Basquiat also shared an interest with artist Shengeka Pharaoh on the issues facing African ideology and the black community.
Since Basquiat is Hatian and Puerto Rico, he elaborated on his black experience, including the challenge of racism and the fear of being arrested by police. He succeeded, but Helivo said her brothers often had a hard time catching a taxi because of his skin color. She also accused her brother of writing graffiti on the walls of a New York City subway station, deeply affecting the 1983 death of Michael Stewart, a black man who died after police arrested him. Said received.
“It rocked him so much,” Helivo said. “He said he thought it might be him. Whatever the thoughts were happening in his mind … he sketched about them. He drew about them.”
Decades after his work was first exhibited in the gallery, his art continues to tell others who have encountered the same obstacles he faced.
“We see generations of people facing challenges in how this world culture deals with racism, classism and social problems,” said Lisan Basquiat. Michelle talks to them. “
Despite the struggles he experienced, Basquiat used his work to cheer up the blacks. The reference to the “king” in the exhibition comes from one of his paintings with the infamous crown, a symbol that influenced many other black artists, including Jay-Z and Notorious Big. And all genres of music.
“Jean-Michel was one of the few who claimed the crown early on to claim to be the royal family,” she said.
Lisane Basquiat said that even those who are not familiar with the artist will know the resilience and determination of her brother, while gaining insight into humans who “have a dream and aim for it.” She also added that she hopes this exhibition will evoke inspiration and appreciation for her family’s heritage and the roots of her ancestors.
“Jean-Michel was an artist who provided what he had without filtering or editing,” said Lisane Basquiat. “And many of us are filtering and editing. We can express ourselves. So what I want people to understand is that it’s possible … you You can see what happens when you get out of your way. “
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