A Stroke of Genius: Why You Should Visit Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure© Exhibition


(Image courtesy of Jean Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © Exhibit. Image depicts a photograph of Basquiat by Christopher Makos taken on May 29 1984)



A piece of art rarely emotes something never seen. Nature, people, and places have been etched, sculpted, painted, or drawn since time immemorial. But, if the modern attention span is about 8 seconds (same as a goldfish), what makes art from decades ago stop you in your tracks and think about life?Jean-Micheal Basquiat had the ability of anyone and everyone who looked at his work to stop and stare. He defined the American art scene as he held a mirror to society. In his twenty-seven years, Basquiat captured the nuances of living as an African American living through the seventies and eighties.

(Image courtesy of Jean Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © Exhibit. Image depicts Basquiat from The James Van der Zee Archive at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.)




The Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure© allows a person to see the multi-dimensional artist through the lens of the people who knew him best, his family. Basquiat's sisters Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux and their children, and his stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick created a multi-media experience that allows you to glimpse into the mind of a genius. Here are some reasons why you should is it the exhibition.



(Image courtesy of Jean Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © Exhibit. Image depicts Jeanie Heriveaux and Lisane Basquiat)


1. Learn about the man behind the myth

When someone like Basquiat changes the way the art world views itself, it becomes easy to summarize his worldview from his work. Yet, artists are influenced by their upbringing, culture, and family. These overlooked factors can help explain the rationale behind Basquiat's work. The exhibit allows the public to see where Basquiat drew his inspiration. His sister, Lisane, cements his idea when she says, "This is a way for us to collaborate as a community and fill in the spaces from all of our perspectives on Jean-Michel and his impact on the world. It's a gift to our family and others that they can look at this personal account of who he was."



(Image courtesy of Jean Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © Exhibit. Image depicts Charles the First, 1982 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat Licensed by Artestar, New York)


2. Draw inspiration from the past to better the future

Basquiat's works illuminate the African American experience as he discusses inequality, social justice, and more via Neo-expressionism. Basquiat used vibrant colors to tell the world his perspectives. Unfortunately, the problems Basquiat faced are still prevalent. As society is beginning to understand the percussions of century worlds prejudices and bias, one can look at Basquiat's work as a guide to understanding the African American experience.



(Image courtesy of Jean Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © Exhibit. Image depicts Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jailbirds, 1983. © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat)


3. Understand the power of individuality

Basquiat's creative output influenced the people and places around him. His friends included artists like Andy Warhol, gallerists like Annina Nosei, musicians like Madonna, John Lurie, and more. When the world was trying to mold Basquiat into the societal norms of the day, he rebelled by producing his iconic works. Jean-Michel Basquiat shows that having an individual perspective is essential for evolution and progression.



(Image courtesy of Jean Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © Exhibit. Image depicts Jawbone of an Ass, 1982 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat Licensed by Artestar, New York)

Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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