WHO IS Jean-Michel Basquiat?
Arrived 1960 left 1988…during his time on earth he was known for popularizing a specific genre of art. I don’t know if you could categorize his paintings as “Black Art” primarily because he seemed to have only been embraced by the White community who single-handedly decoded the hieroglyphics messages he placed within his painting…they said his messages supposedly spoke about the everyday struggles within the black community…This may have been the case or either it was a sales pitch to get top dollar for what appear to be simple graffiti…And then there was the drug problem, a family history of mental health issues, and him being kicked out of his father’s home. People believe that going home is the simple answer to kicking drugs but sometimes home is the reason why…
“home is where I live inside my white powder dreams
home was once an empty vacuum that’s filled now with my silent screams
home is where the needle marks try to heal my broken heart and it might not be such a bad idea if I never, if I never went home again home again home again home again kick it, quit it kick it, quit it kick it, quit it”
(Words by Gil Scott Heron)
The crazy thing about decoding hieroglyphics is that overtime the initial understanding of the symbols change and as these changes occur so does the interpretation…maybe what they though were struggles within the black community was actually the struggles within his mind about his life: MENTAL HEALTH, LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, DRUGS.
Please enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts.