Jean Michel Basquiat

Tell me why i like Jean Michel Basquiat? I remember back in 1986 i read a lengthy photocopied article about him in art class, i think it was entitled American Hero? He instantly grabbed my attention, his work to me was like chicken scratches amidst incomprehensible wordage with raw colour and line, people immediately spoke of its african charm, though i see a more Haitian presence in its appearance, the son of Haitian immigrants would perhaps give credence ot this?

I dug it thoroughly something resonated within me, i understood it without being able to express why. At that time i was digging the art of Brett Whiteley, whilst i had grown up appreciating Michelangelo, Basquiat had swung a door wide open for me, his enigmatic and off centred personality complemented his work and gave it context, a new york street artist living out of cardboard boxes living hand to mouth, before the $$$ made hungry collectors and galleries clamber for this lads work. The marketing menace of Andy Warhol came knocking and brought himself back into the commercial spotlight by way of association and exhibting with a young Basquiat who was enjoying and hating the ride he was on, i always wondered if he would like to return to his cardboard box, i think he always hit the streets and kept his tradition going tagging here and there, though for all the art world took from him what did they give him besides $$$$ and drugs?


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