Basquiat


In the

1980's art punk movement, the only thing the market liked better than a hot
young artist was a dead hot young artist, and it got one in Jean-Michel Basquiat,
whose working life of about nine years was truncated by a heroin overdose at the
age of twenty-seven. His career, both actual and posthumous, appealed to a
cluster of toxic vulgarities. The artist was"instinctual," someone
outside "mainstream" culture and therefore not to be rated in its
terms: a wild pet for the recently cultivated collector. Jean Michell Basquiat
was indeed a great artist, however he was not meant to be a celebrity. Basquiat,
gave the art world what they most desired, he filled a fetish about the
freshness of youth, blooming among the discos of the East Side scene. Basquiat
also fueled the audience's goggling appetite for self-destructive talent. This
essay intends to prove that Basquiat did not deserve his celebrity status,
through analysis of his drug addictions, his reckless lifestyle and his
primitive art. Jean-Michel Basquiat lead an incredibly wild life. After his
escape from suburbia into the feverish and frantic world of Soho, New York he
primarily associated with the most renowned artists and celebrities.

Jean-Michel's life was filled with the gods of monsters of the neo-primitive art
movement, it all seemed so glamourous, he would model for Armani clothes, create
famous art works with Andy Warhol, dance at studio 54 and sleep with Keith

Harring and Maddona. But this is where the illusion ends. Basquiat's life was
constant turmoil. He was perpetually in a drug induced haze, being addicted to
more drugs than person could possibly invision. At a time he had a live in
errand boy who would do nothing more than hook-up Basquiat with his drug-de
jour. His habit eventually, and inevitably lead to his untimely death at the age
of 28. While alive Jean-Michel was incredibly licentious, a bisexual
artist/model/musician with a taste for every form of carnal expression can (as
you might imagine) get into a lot of trouble. He would unabashedly have up to
ten relationships in the air at once and still feel the need to visit
prostitutes and mistresses. In life Basquiat contracted numerous venereal
diseases and was the very epitome of sexually irresponsibility. Basquiat's art
mirrored his life. His paintings held bold strokes of beautiful colours over
shoddy canvass painted with fury and distemper. While some may argue that the
paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat are deceptively simple many say they are
sloppy works covered in irreverent text and portraits that any grade one student
could imitate and improve. Basquiat would spin out art without paying any
attention or care to the final product. However it is a difficult thing to prove
anti-art, because of the fact that art is so personal and individually
interpreted.

Bibliography

Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art