Jean- Michel Basquiat, the voice of American society in the 80s.
the middle class boy who dared to express his thoughts and beliefs through art in spite of critics. Remembering his legacy means to go in depth into a life touched by art from the very beginning, it represents recognize how dark could be the pressure of art market. Jean- Michel Basquiat life´s is definitely a worthy life to remember.
The mixed roots are evidence, coming from Puerto Rican and Haitian descendants, the young Basquiat was fluent in Spanish, French and English, which kept him interested in reading by the age of 11, it was his mother who noticed the artistic essence of his child, it was she the one who encouraged him to develop his skills. But after his parents split off, Basquiat’s mom started to suffer from mental disorders reason why Jean and his sisters were raised by his father.
At age 15 Jean-Michel dropped off high school and his home, this obviously caused a distant relationship with his father. But one year after this, he finally took his art to Manhattan’s walls, painting graffiti’s as a social protest, and also producing punk-inspired cards. A couple of years later Basquiat started to be recognized due to TV shows appearances, besides the range of his talent was recognized by the one and only Andy Warhol who collaborated with him between 1983 and 1985. It was in the early 80s where Jean-Michel critic art was known worldwide, his artwork became the reference of the black man perception in American Society at that time.
The American artist primary characteristic is the fact he was not afraid to protest through his authentic art, his canvas included texts and symbols where the main topics reflected were: segregation, racism, colonialism policy, poverty among others. Basquiat experience painting graffiti’s on the streets definitely taught him how unjust and damaged society was, but this difficult lifetime experience gave him enough inspiration to show the world the ugly truth about society.
Though, Jean-Michel’s addiction to heroin killed him something absolutely undeniable is that his message will not die, because he made sure to send a direct and controversial message to the world that would last forever. Basquiat has proved us the importance of following our dreams and also how we can cause a positive impact making what we love.
If you haven’t heard about Basquiat artworks, you can find them present in Canada, United States, Asia, and Europe as public collections. The impact of the artistic social protest of this amazing man will keep breaking the status quo over time.