BASQUIAT.    basquiat himself, a
                  portraitGot  Good News and Bad News. First the good news. Basquiat is easy to copy. SEE THESE AMAZING PAINTINGS BY THE DOZEN, EARNING PAINTERS HUGE MONEY.

The Bad news -- Jean Michel's dead and even if he weren't you couldn't afford him. It's a long time since he wandered  NYC cafes with his l0$ postcards which he sold to Andy Warhol,  (SCREEN THE FILM BASQUIAT.) HIS postcards are now worth 50thousand each.   If you do 'homage' Basquiats at home, 'covering' him like an homage cover band... never sign his name, you have to find your own nomme du plume. Counterfeits are illegal. But I am suggesting that this type of art would sell fast.

JMB: Ten bucks, Mr. Warhol. I'm firm on this.
AW. Well, that's fine. Give me the whole stack.

Good decision Andy because the late Jean Michel Basquiat gets 5 1/2 million bucks a canvas now. (DENNIS HOPPER sold one at Christies, an atypical one, I thought. See it:

BUT HEY -- The delight of a mythical archetypal STICK FIGURE  in a bunch of colorful boxes and squibbles sillier than nursery rhymes? That can be yours. DO a Basquiat YOURSELF!

First, with a blobby brush, smear in the background, couple of contrasting colors. Now, throw up a dynamic stick figure ... something charged up, dominating the canvas. Practice sketching on 8.x10 paper to see how/where you'll lay this part out.  Is it off to the side? Centered?

I am centered. I just have this problem
with airborn junk flying over my head

Maybe you have some favorite letters. Words maybe. Throw a few in. They can be backwards. Just mutterings, nothing overpowering. And SYMBOLS. See below:

The HALO is a good symbol, wings. Great stuff.
The right hand being a devil's trident. Go figure.

You're catching on. It's like goofy limericks are to real poetry. But it looks great on a wall. Maybe you write the letters B-A-S-Q-U-I-A-T there on the lower left side. Since none of HIS paintings are signed it won't make anyone knowledgeable think you're counterfeiting his stuff. But the idiots on one end and the connoisseurs on the other will be waaay impressed.

Now, if you really want a thrill, rent the movie BASQUIAT with Warhol played by David Bowie.  Keep looking at all your fake Basquiats on the walls of your crummy apartment. Now, start making your apartment look like the artist's loft in the movie. Invite people in. DO GRAFFITI PAINTINGS. Honey, you are gonna make NOTHING BUT MONEY!

   Q &A
What did he paint with? Mixed media, acrylic, oil, pastel chalk.

Got a Bio on the guy?
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Biography

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on the 22nd of December in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York and died on the 12th of August in 1988 of a drug overdose in his Manhattan studio. His death, like that of a screen siren or rock star, helped to make Jean-Michel Basquiat a legend, but only because he had already reached unquestionable fame through his work as a graffiti artist and an innovative painter. In addition to his tragic death, he is most known for his loose and unencumbered painterly graphic style so often associated with street art that started to gain such notoriety in the 1980s. As well, his subject matter provocatively positioned and layered imagery, iconography and text that addressed issues of race, culture and heritage.

Born to a Haitian father, Gerard Basquiat, and a Puerto Rican mother, Matilde Andrades, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s heritage would prove to be a pivotal influence in his work as an artist. He was the oldest of three children; his siblings were both girls, Lisane and Jeanine, four and seven years younger than he, respectively. He was considered an extremely bright and gifted young boy; he learned how to read and write by the age of four (in general), and was reading, writing and speaking English, French and Spanish by the age of eleven. His artistic ability was recognized at quite a young age by his mother and his teachers and he was greatly encouraged. His mother would take him into Manhattan to see art and enrolled him as a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and thus he was exposed to various artistic disciplines and practices very early on.

When he was just eight years old he was hit by a car, which proved to be quite traumatic as he endured many internal injuries and had to stay in the hospital for a full month. His mother brought him the infamous drawing book, Grey’s Anatomy, which kept him thoroughly occupied during his recovery. Sadly, not too long after his recovery his parents separated and his mother would be in and out of mental institutions. Jean-Michel Basquiat, along with his sisters, were raised by their father. They remained in Brooklyn until 1974/75 when the family moved to Puerto Rico for a short time. At this time, Jean-Michel Basquiat made his first attempt at running away, but was rather immediately picked up by the police and returned home.

He attended the progressive City as School program that centered very much on culture. He was intrigued by comics and cartoon drawing as well as graffiti and along with a few school friends, Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson, first developed the  tag SAMO while still in high school. He never graduated, as the story goes, Jean-Michel Basquiat was pushing the envelope at school and during a school event he apparently threw a pie in the face of the principle and ran out. He soon ran away from home again, this time remaining on the streets or couch-surfing at friends' for a couple years. During these next couple years Jean-Michel Basquiat and friends would take SAMO public, tagging throughout the city images and poetic texts that were more often sarcastic and humorous - and political.

There are varying stories about the development of SAMO; apparently, the acronym originally became a stand-in for the turn of phrase “same old shit”, which is how they referred to the marijuana they smoked. SAMO became a character in a comic book that Jean-Michel Basquiat created in which SAMO sold a false religion. SAMO also showed up in one of their theatre classes called the Family Life. Soon photocopies were being made and passed around to “sell” the false religion. SAMO also started showing up as graffiti on subway walls and buildings in SoHo and the East Village, particularly around the School of Visual Arts. The tag now included the infamous and ironic copyright symbol “©” and was clearly targeting the art audience in more ways than one.

Basquiat was ironic, cynical, disconnected from serious relationships and gave his all to art. If that's you and you have some paints and know how to stretch a canvas, PAINT QUAINT, get your friends to do the same and wholesale a line. Or do GRAFFITI paintings. 

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