Jean-Michel Basquiat, Western Histories

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Western Histories

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent.

Kicked out of the house at age 17, he spent three years honing his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams by selling sweatshirts and postcards marked with his work.

Surviving on nothing but cheap red wine and bags of Cheetos, his work was loaded with social commentary. The crown, Basquiat’s signature artistic motif, both acknowledged and challenged the history of Western art. By adorning black male figures, including athletes, musicians and writers with the crown, Basquiat raised these historically disenfranchised artists to royal or even saintly stature.

In 2017, a 1982 piece by Basquiat sold at auction for $110.5 million US dollars, setting a new record for any American artist at auction and showing just how valuable his message still is today.

- Sidedish Projects

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