Wednesday, April 8, 2015

AGO - Jean-Michel Basquiat

Today I went to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit. I went into the exhibit not really know what to expect. Basquiat's style is very different from most other well known artists. Basquiat's style was dark and modern, painting in a graffiti street art style. His art is the kind of art that you question while looking at it because it is definitely not strikingly beautiful like a Monet or Van Gogh, You wonder why there is even an art exhibit dedicated to him. The reason why Basquiat is an important artist is because his art is interesting and has a message. As mentioned above he isn't like most of the artists we've heard of. Most of the works I saw today at the exhibit were focused around racism and police brutality which allows his art from the late 1970's and 1980's to remain current. 
A few of the things I found most interesting about Jean-Michel Basquiat are 1. He and Andy Warhol were good friends and 2. He was assigned to paint at a gallery where he was supplied heroin to help spark his creativity 3. He died at his studio in 1988 of a heroin overdose shortly after Andy Warhol's death which pushed Basquiat into severe isolation and depression.  

Jean-Michael Basquiat, 1983

Death of Michael Stewart
On September 15, 1983, the artist Michael Stewart was beaten to death by transit police after they found him tagging the wall of a subway station with a marker. Basquiat saw his own life reflected in the death of his fellow artist. Here, Basquiat depicts Stewart as a sarcophagus-like figure, already shrouded in the shadow of death, with a halo encircling his head. By writing “DEFACEMENT©,” he assigns the copyright for this hate crime to the police ( 

Bag: Marc Jacobs
Jumpsuit: Forever 21
Shoes: Topshop

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