Young Kings and Queens: A Tribute to Basquiat & beginning to learn about his Impact and Legacy

As Black History Month draws to an official end, I wanted to discuss and learn about a black artist who greatly influenced the art world and so many individuals past and present.  A person who was more than just an artist, but a critical voice of society who still inspires and motivates today. I recently read a post by Nadia Aboulhosn, that discussed the degrees of Basquiat, him and as a creator and inspiration to her personal development and style.

  Jean-Michel Basquiat is arguably considered one of the most influential artists of his generation.   His creative voice demanded the attention of an audience, and the admirers experienced him during his formative years of artistic expression.  His aesthetic differed from the norm, for it was drenched in a "rebellious" persona that spoke of the minority experience.  The pieces he produced were vibrant, controversial, and more than just an extension of himself.  However, when we think of Basquiat the first thoughts of him are rooted in his drug addiction, abnormal personal style, or they barely know his legacy.  When in actuality he has left large shoes to fill; his avant-garde artwork correlated with hisway of life. He acknowledged the faults of people and society then manifested them in his creations, especially in thefigures and words embodied in his works.

Even though, Basquiat is generally well known, many don't know that he was a graffiti artist tagging all over the streets of downtown Manhattan all his drawings, short poems, phrases, and ideologies that challenged the societal norms and injustices. His graffiti pieces were followed by the tag "SAMO©".  He challenged many issues including race and poverty.


"Like a DJ, Basquiat adeptly reworked Neo-expressionism's clichéd language of gesture, freedom, and angst and redirected Pop art's strategy of appropriation to produce a body of work that at times celebrated black culture and history but also revealed its complexity and contradictions." - Lydia Lee

As I continue my journey for more Jean-Michel Basquiat enlightenment and more inspiration, I leave you with this excerpt that grants you access into the artist's infamous persona.

Felicia taliaferro