Main | Art magazine | Creativity in a drug-fueled frenzy. Extravagant paintings by Jean Michel Basquiat, now worth millions of dollars.
Creativity in a drug-fueled frenzy. Extravagant paintings by Jean Michel Basquiat, now worth millions of dollars.

Creativity in a drug-fueled frenzy. Extravagant paintings by Jean Michel Basquiat, now worth millions of dollars.

Share on social networks:

Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1987) was a famous artist whose artwork in the style of abstract expressionism is now worth tens of millions of dollars. And let some philistines believe that one can find an artist who can do this kind of doodling in every kindergarten: however, educators and parents would probably be horrified by such drawings of their favorite child, but serious art critics and advanced art lovers are delighted by Basquiat's artwork.

Black Head

It may not be about academically flawless technique, but there is no doubting the artist's talent and unconventional vision: he managed to elevate street art to the level of real art.

His life was really strange and resembled a movie, where they gave too much freedom to the scriptwriter. But in reality, sometimes there are collisions that are impossible to think of, as if to confirm the popular proverb: “you can't think of anything on purpose”.

A boy and a dog on fire

Jean Michel Basquiat was born into a family of immigrants from Haiti and Puerto Rico, who lived in Brooklyn. Already in three years he learned to draw, in 4 - became fluent in reading and writing, and in 11, in addition to his native English, mastered Spanish and French. Subsequently, journalists wrote that he lived almost in the ghetto, languishing miserable existence, traded on the street stolen goods and drugs and was a member of a teenage street gang. All these fictions pissed Basquiat off: “just because I'm black doesn't mean I have to be a beggar and a gangster.”


His dad was an accountant and made good money. Mom brought up children, loved art and regularly took her son to theaters and museums. She managed to attract his love of painting, and later Basquiat said: “All the good things in my life I owe my mother, she was for me as a guiding light in a world of darkness and false ideals. But all was not so cloudless: Basquiat's father was a man of cool temper, and his mother did not yield to him, so scandals between them broke out regularly. And at age 7, Jean was hit by a car, and he had to spend a month in the hospital. To entertain his son, his parents brought him an album “Grey's Anatomy” and Basquiat almost on each of his paintings drew various anatomical details.


Then his mother was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital, and Basquiat was raised by his father. Their relationship had been strained before, and when he grew up, it became even worse. At the age of 15, Basquiat ran away from home for the first time, the police soon returned him, but the thirst for vagrancy and free life has already overwhelmed the boy. Soon he was expelled from City-as-School, a school for gifted children with creative abilities: Basquiat managed to throw a box of shaving cream at the principal. He never studied anywhere else and learned the basics of painting and art on his own, visiting museums, art venues and socializing with artists.

Dusty heads

At the age of 17, Basquiat finally left home and led the life of a street hobo, eating chips and drinking cheap wine. To earn a living, he sold postcards of his drawings, and at night he painted various ironic and often outright hooligan drawings and inscriptions on the walls under the invariable pseudonym SAMO.

A street rebel

Basquiat was very poor, but greedy for creativity: he often had relationships with girls, and after gaining access to their apartment, painted all over it with his egregious drawings. Often it ended in scandal, but if he was offered to choose between relationships and free creativity, he always chose the second.

Soon became his own in the underground party, visited the appropriate nightclubs and met there with creative people. In 1979, he was offered to star in a movie about a beggar street artist, and bought his painting for $ 200. This was the first success.

The wine of gold teeth

Basquiat began to participate in exhibitions of contemporary art, and gallery owner Annina Nosey offered him a permanent contract, and at the same time provided the basement of her gallery and bought enough canvases and paints. Basquiat created like an obsessive, creating a day sometimes three paintings. Gradually changed and their style, they became brighter, more detailed, but the number of all sorts of inscriptions decreased. Basquiat's artwork sold like hotcakes, sometimes they were sold even when the paint was not completely dry.

Basquiat and Annina Nosey in the basement of the workshop under the gallery

Basquiat moved to a new apartment, and soon scandalously parted with Nosey: she, as a true factory-capitalist forced Basquiat to work at an unbearable pace, earning a lot of money for each sold picture. To be a “black slave” Basquiat did not want and soon began to create on his own terms.

Riding to his death

Except that he was too addicted to drugs, which in those years were common among creative youth, and despite the money and fame, could not stop in time. He died at the age of 27, leaving behind many extraordinary paintings, which are now worth millions of dollars.

Buy handmade goods or modern art you can on artAlebrio - is an international marketplace for people who want to create, sell, buy and collect unique items and art - buy the best with us artAlebrio.com.

We in social media

Tg, FB, Instagram

Share on social networks:
Add comment
Товар добавлен в корзину!