Friday, March 21, 2008

I am going through a Jean-Michel Basquiat period

Artistic-photolytic image of Jean-Michel Basquiat by artist Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

A artistic-photolytic of Jean-Michel Basquiat by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

I am going through a Basquiat period right now. I am reading about him in a new book from Yale University Press :: Ambition & Love in Modern American Art by Jonathan Weinberg. Then follwed up with the only Biography I coud find of him byPhoeb Hoban : Basquiat - A quick Killing in Art.

I have never really liked Basquiat's work. I first read about him in Andy Warhol's diaries and had the suspicion that Warhol had a sexual crush on the young black man.

Basquiat was a bi-sexual. His first sexual encounters were gay, and as a teenager he ofter worked as a gay street hustler. Though later in his life he had many famous and infamous relations with woman, including Maddona.

Andy Warhol was a closeted homosexual.

Warhol chose to partner up with Basquiat over Keith Harring among other up and comming artist. Harring who was also in the Warhol circle at the time - but was openly gay.

The two, Warhol and Basquiat did a series of painting together. Warhol started, usually with a corporate logo, and Basquiat would paint on top of Warhol's work. Apparently Basquiat would have to encourage Warhol to add more to the collaboration. The essay in the book talks about how Basquiat was used not only by Warhol but also by the artist Schnabel who was a contemporary and who would make a movie about (and titled) Basquiat. (A movie a I enjoyed).

Basquiat, filmed in 1986

Jean-Michel Basquiat SAMO tagging period
The SAMO `tagging' period of Basquiat life

In 1977, when he was 17, Basquiat and his friend Al Diaz started spray-painting graffiti art on slum buildings in lower Manhattan, adding the infamous signature of "SAMO" or "SAMO shit" (i.e., "same ol' shit"). The graphics were pithy messages such as "Plush safe he think; SAMO" and "SAMO is an escape clause". In December 1978, the Village Voice published an article about the writings.[1] The SAMO project ended with the epitaph SAMO IS DEAD written on the walls of SoHo buildings.

SAMO as a neo art form.

SAMO as an end to to mindwash religion, nowhere politics and bogus philosophy.

SAMO as an escape clause.

SAMO as an end to playing art.

SAMO as an end to bogus pseudo intellectual. My mouth, therefore an error. Plush safe.. he think.

SAMO as an alternative 2 playing art with the 'radical chic' sect on Daddy's $ funds.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Qoutes:

* "Every single line means something."

* "Since I was seventeen I thought I might be a star. I'd think about all my heroes, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix… I had a romantic feeling about how these people became famous."

* "I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life."

* "Believe it or not, I can actually draw."

* "I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is."

* I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot.

+ I start a picture and I finish it. I don't think about art while I work. I try to think about life.

+ I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life.

+ I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist, or I'd draw a ram's head, really messy. I'd never win painting contests. I remember losing to a guy who did a perfect spiderman.

+ I had some money, I made the best paintings ever. I was completely reclusive, worked a lot, took a lot of drugs. I was awful to people.

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