Let’s talk: Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on December 22nd in the year 1960. He was an am American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. Through the use of social commentary, he “Springboards to deeper truths about the individual”, and is also able to silently attack power structures and systems of racism. Wording through his artworks are mostly political and direct in their criticism of ‘colonialism and support for class struggle’. I was and am lucky enough to have seen three of Basquiat’s amazing shows in which I left emotional and touched. So here I am, turning to my blog as a medium to express my love and appreciation for his work.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York, shortly after the death of his older brother, Max. He had two younger sisters, Lisane and Jeanine. His father, was of Haitian descent, and Matilde Basquiat, his mother, was of Puerto Rican descent. His mother, was often taking Basquiat to art museums in Manhattan, and, as soon as she could, enrolled him as a junior member at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. By the age of four, Basquiat had learned how to read and write, and already, people were noticing that he was a gifted child/artist. At 11, he was fully fluent in French, Spanish and English. Here is what I find absolutely amazing about an artist like Basquiat. Within several years, Basquiat transitioned from being homeless and unemployed to seeing paintings for up to twenty-five thousand dollars.

The initial presence of his artwork, was when he started spray painting under the pseudonym, SAMO. In late 1978, The Village Voice published an article about the graffiti. After the end of a friendship with Al Diaz (whom he started the movement with), the SAMO project ended with the phrase, “SAMO IS DEAD”, inscribed on the walls of SoHO buildings in 1979. Appearing on live public-access television shows such as TV Party frequently, Basquiat was gaining recognition, and quickly.

“SAMO IS DEAD”

The early 1980s saw Basquiat’s breakthrough as a solo artist. In June of 1980, he took part in The Times Square Show, where he was noticed by critics and curators. I personally, LOVE his earlier artworks and the ones displayed in this exhibition.

AT THE Times Square Exhibition in June 1980

I was so fortunate to have seen the AMAZING Paris, Louis Vuitton Foundation exhibition late last year in December. The show was amazingly curated and consisted of tonnes of paintings and sculptures. Along with some of his most famous works, came many of his smaller sketches that had rarely been shown. Emotional, I left the exhibition late after I had arrived. A truly beautiful exhibition. I also got to see a smaller, but nevertheless, beautiful exhibition at London’s Barbican centre last year. This show was touching. I am always touched by his works and I think his blend of aesthetics and paint balance is brilliantly composed. I will always love his works.

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Basquiat and my mother!

To see my initial exhibition review on Basquiat’s Paris show, please go to my instagram page, @arthistorycentral !!! ❤️ Feel free to leave suggestions for new blog posts below, and also do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or if you just want to chat! ❤️ Thanks guys


Artist Rundown: Georgia O’Keeffe

This week on Artist Rundown, we are going to talk about one of my favourite artists of all time.

Georgia O’Keeffe, born in 1887, was an American artist. She was best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers and zoomed in fauna, and also produced some beautiful New Mexico landscapes. Known commonly as ‘The Mother of American Modernism’, O’Keeffe influenced mass change in the American art world and was a trailblazer for the artists that we see as idols today.

In the year 1905, Georgia O’Keeffe was recognised for her talent and started to receive art training at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and then moved on to the Art Students League of New York. She did however, feel constrained by her lessons because she did not wasn’t to just ‘copy’ what was in nature. Unable to pay for a further education, she stopped attending school in 1908, and started to work as a commercial illustrator. She then spent some years teaching in Virginia, Texas and South Carolina. In 1918, she moved to New York and began working seriously as an artist. This when her career started to ‘take off’.

Her paintings stand today as some of the most beautiful, successful and admired pieces of art around. In 2014, O’Keeffe’s painting ‘Jimson Weed’ sold for 44.5 Million dollars, more than three times the previous world auction record for ANY female artist. After her death the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum was established in Santa Fe, somewhere she often travelled to do her New Mexico landscapes.

I attached quite a few of her pieces below so you can understand my love for Georgia O’Keeffe, and how she defied the rules of nature in art, especially as a female. I saw her work at the TATE MODERN last year. #O’KeeffeEverday ❤️

One of her amazing flower close ups (they’re pretty big in real life)
One of her watercolours- I love the use of blue and black here
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Our Journey Begins…

Hi everyone. My name is Charlie. Following my younger years, and (some would say) addiction to art and galleries, I’ve decided to express and share my passion through the internet- as it appears to be what we turn to in this day and age! And so here you find me, a young teen living in London, weekly blogging about the various topics that he stumbles upon and is knowledgable about. Thanks for joining me, and feel free to contact me if you want to chat!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Pegge Hopper