Sunday, March 29, 2009


Crudely drawn figures, handwritten phrases and scientific formulae are jumbled together on a multi-colored background, forming a visual cacophony of colour and shapes. The primitive and childlike images reflect Basquiat's links with graffiti art. The painting seem to be a distillation of the New York underworld of the artist's roots, evoking its multi-ethnic, hip-hop culture and reflecting the fast-moving, chaotic reality of the city's street life through a series of disconnected images and written fragments.

Basquiat was part of a loosely associated group of so-called graffiti artists, some of whom worked in New York's subways, and indeed he started his own short-lived career by daubing graffiti on public walls. His international reputation was rapidly established and rose with meteoric speed - fuelled by the art boom of the 1980s - until his death from a drug overdose at the age of 26.

SOURCE: The Art Book

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