My sister and I visited the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta last year, and it was incredible. Starting as a graffiti artist in the early 1980s, Basquiat parlayed his letters and symbols into art that blends language and image. The childlike simplicity of the images blended with the lyrical elements is interesting and somewhat haunting, given that his work is largely comprised of a social commentary, attacks on power structures, and suggestive dichotomies, such as wealth vs. poverty and integration vs. segregation. One of my favorites, which I have in my living room, is one of his earliest works Cadillac Moon, 1981. I love how spare and linear it is. To me it feels like he’s bringing the outside in[to the world of fine art] with his unfinished lines, quirky symbols and primitive language. He is undoubtedly interesting, whether it’s your taste in art or not. The exhibit of his work felt like a fascinating peek into the short life of a revolutionary artist. To me it is abstract genius – de Kooning meets street graffiti or something. It realky stuck with me and is definitely worth seeing if you get the opportunity.
Side note – Um, fun fact – did you know he dated Madonna ?? Yep, in like 1983 or something, just before her career took off. Bizarre 🤔