Basquiat By Himself, 2019


Pages: 184 pages / 130 colour illustrations
Language: English
Format: Hardcover 
 

Contributions by D. Buchhart, B. Bischofsberger, N. Cullinan, M. Halsband, A.K. Hofbauer, L. Jaffe, L. Rideal.



€50.00



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Basquiat By Himself, 2019

The present publication is dedicated to the expressive self-portraits by Jean-Michel Basquiat and covers his lifelong intensive study of the self. In Basquiat’s œuvre the self-portrait, one of the major subjects of art history, occupies a central position that has not been examined to date.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s self-portraits are regarded as being among the most important of his radical creative works. In addition to some 50 specific portraits of himself, we can also see his series of likenesses of African-American men as concealed reproductions of the artist. Not least because Basquiat, who was affected himself by everyday racism, identified with his heroes, saints and martyrs as he portrayed them. Thus his major topics from identity, discrimination and prejudice to capitalism, the market and oppression are all to be found in these key works.

Jean-Michel Basquiat - SAMO

Jean-Michel Basquiat, an American with a Haitian father, gained recognition as an artist in the 1980s. His rise to prominence was swift but his career was cut short.

Between 1977 and 1980 he was a graffiti artist, tagging his mysterious, subversive messages with the name SAMO©. By 1980 he was frequenting artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Francesco Clemente, and abandoned graffiti for painting. Buoyed by the energy of hip hop with its sampling, scratching and DJ culture, his practice drew on many influences such as Picasso, Penck, Schwitters, Dubuffet as well as Cobra movement, jazz and voodoo. His frame of reference expanded to include history and global literature, from Homer to Napoleon and Malcolm X. His style was characterised by a bold and sparing colour palette, and the use of symbols such as the crown and skull, as well as numbers and scientific formulas. Like palimpsests, his works feature layers of drawing, scratches, painting, collages of photocopies and objects. The chaotic complexity of his compositions reveals a spontaneous exuberance and a mastery of different materials and techniques, from acrylic to screen-printing, markers to sprays.

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