Research Paper Jean Michel Basquiat Research Paper Jean Michel Basquiat Carin M. Deeter Art Appreciation 101 November 10, 2011 Life………. You’re either too busy or stupid to usually enjoy it. I feel like I was actually unfortunate enough to be both. I look back on all the mistakes I made and I see why I wasn’t around to celebrate my 50th birthday last year. Heck, I barely even made it halfway there. I can only remember a handful of times that I was ever truly enjoying my life….. most of the time I was just trying to get by. My life started out normal enough I guess. I was born 3 days before Christmas in 1960, in
Brooklyn Hospital. It really was a bad deal for my birthday and Christmas to be so close together. I felt I always got the short end of the stick as far as presents went. My parents were Gerard and Matilde. . I have two younger sisters, Lisane, born in 1964, and Jeanine, born in 1967. My sister Jeanine in front of one of my works. One of my worst childhood memories was when I got hit by a car the year after Jeanine was born. I was playing in the street, and not watching for cars like I had been told. I ended up in the hospital with a broken arm. I had quite a few internal injuries too. I had to have a splenectomy.
During a month-long recuperation in the hospital, my mother gave me a copy of the book Grey’s Anatomy, which greatly influenced later work. That whole year was pretty much full of bad memories. My mother started showing signs of mental illness and my parents split up. My sisters and I lived with my dad in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn for five years, then we moved to Puerto Rico in 1974. We lived there for 2 years and then we moved back to New York City in 1976. It wasn’t long after that I decided to run away from home. I was a 15 year old kid, thinking I knew it all. It wasn’t much fun sleeping on the park benches in Washington Square Park.
I was only gone for a week before the cops arrested me and took me home to my dad. Two weeks later, I dropped out of school. I just figured the 10th grade at City As School holds nothing for me. I got a lot of laughs from throwing a cream pie in my principals face before I left though. Then my dad kicked me out of the house. I was on my own. That was alright with me because I had my friends. I supported myself by selling t-shirts and homemade postcards. I could usually be found down in Lower Manhattan. I worked at the Unique Clothing Warehouse. When I wasn’t working, my friends Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson, and I began pray painting graffiti on buildings under the pseudonym of SAMO. We came up with some pretty crazy sayings. My favorite was “SAMO as an escape clause” On December 11, 1978, The Village Voice published an article about our graffiti. That was pretty cool. We decided to kill the SAMO graffiti the next year with an epitaph of “SAMO IS DEAD” on the walls of Soho buildings. Those were some really good times. ONE OF MY TAGS- SAMO IS DEAD My favorite picture of myself because it states the truth. My favorite picture of myself because it states the truth. The following year I appeared on a television show called TV Party.
It was hosted by Glenn O’Brien. I became good friends with Glenn and I made regular appearances on his show over the next few years. Also in 1979, I started up a band with some friends. We called our band “Gray”. We performed in some nightclubs and did some private parties. I also starred in my friend Glenn’s independent film “ Downtown 81” I also had a small part in Blondie’s music video “Rapture” as a nightclub disc jockey. That bring us to the summer of 1980. Nearly twenty years of my life had already passed me by. In June an abstract graffiti-like work in the alternative “Time Square Show” gave me my first ne-line mention in the art press. Suzanne and I back in 1980 I feel like my big fame came around the time I met Andy Warhol in 1982. I was trying to sell him one of my postcards the day I met him. Andy wanted to set up a formal meeting but I just went and did a painting of him in record time. Andy sure was really impressed with me. I am reportedly the only black person Andy ever befriended. Since Warhol was so impressed with me, we decided that they would then work together in art. We both had such unique styles, Warhol with his pop art style and my neo-expressionist style.
In 1982, I exhibited my art for the first group show, which followed with the first one-man show in Modena, Italy the following year. After a successful show, I began showing on a regular basis. In 1983, I held the first one-man show in the U. S. Nosei Gallery. In this same year, I became the youngest artist ever included in the prestigious international contemporary art, referred to as Documenta in Kassel Germany. I believe my favorite show ever held was the Basquiat-Warhol collaborative show in 1985. When my paintings started showing at the famous Soho Boone gallery, I made the decision to leave the Annina Nosei gallery.
Two of my works created with Andy Warhold- Paramount and GE On February 10, 1986 I appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in a feature entitled “New Art, New Money: The marketing of an American Artist. I felt like I was a pretty big time artist but that few people really understood me. I loved dressing up in my $1000 Armani suits just like I was heading off to the office. But instead, I would walk a few feet to my studio and begin to paint. Each paint mark that dribbled onto one of my suits, represented a hard days work for me. When Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987 I was floored.
He had went to the hospital to have a routine gall bladder operation and never came home. I became increasingly isolated, and my heroin addiction and depression grew more severe. I did make an attempt at being sober during a trip to Hawaii but sadly I couldn’t overcome my addiction. I died on August 12, 1988, of a heroin overdose at my art studio in Great Jones Street in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood. I had tickets to go to a Run-Dmc concert that night. I heard that they dedicated a song to me that night. My only wish is that I could have been there to hear it.