I didn't like JM Basquiat paintings. I found them gross, archaic, oversimplified, just at the level of a 6 years old who tried himself at street art.
Well, that was before. Basquiat grows on you over time.
Part of the 1970s-80s Neo-Expressionist art movement, Basquiat's paintings are full of frenetic but also very directed energy and vivid simple colors. The resulting works appear raw and unfocused, but in truth that is the opposite of what they are.
To consider them so is to ignore their context, their impact and most significantly the concepts that give them depth. Basquiat's use of imagery and motifs suggestive of African art made it easy to stereotype him as a black artist, but he was keen to be known simply as an artist.
This antagonism between how he wanted to present himself and how he was pigeon-holed by others is documented through his work. The exploration of subject in his paintings is also an exploration of himself and how he responds to what he is representing.
JMB used a lot of matter and thick brushstrokes in his paintings, that is essentially why a simple canvas print does not give him justice.
Now, what we do, when making a Basquiat art print on canvas, is we apply some oil painting at our studio on top of the most salient strokes that defines the painting idea. Adding a new layer to the print makes it more alive, closer to a real reproduction of the artwork.
We start with a thick cotton canvas, printed with top of the line inks, that will last long. Then we move the print to our painting studio, and paint it over.
Not everything is painted again, of course, it is not a painting reproduction in itself, but enough to revive an otherwise dull canvas print of Basquiat art.
For most of the paintings, depending on the model, we let the background printed, the lettering, and paint over the subjects.
The result is fantastic and does not cost much more than a regular print.
Basquiat was raised in a middle-class home in Brooklyn. His mother was an American of Puerto Rican descent. She encouraged Basquiat’s interest in art, taking him to New York City’s great art museums. His parents eventually separated, and he and his sisters lived with their father in Puerto Rico from 1974 to 1976. His mother was diagnosed as mentally ill and eventually was institutionalized. Troubled by his early childhood, Basquiat dropped out of high school and left home at age 17. He lived on the streets, with friends, or in abandoned buildings and began a graffiti campaign with graffiti artists Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson.
They created the persona SAMO (said to represent “same old shit”) and painted anonymous messages on walls around SoHo and the East Village and on the D train of the New York City subway system. In the late 1970s that work—together with the work of other graffitists—began to receive notice in the art world, and so did Basquiat. He emerged in the above ground New York art scene at age 20, about the time that a resurgence of Expressionist painting was at its height, and participated in his first formal public exhibition in “The Times Square Show” (1980). From there his career skyrocketed, and, until his death in 1988, he was a celebrity, represented by major blue-chip galleries in New York and Germany.
For a more complete biography, follow this link
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