Posted tagged ‘Jean-Michel Basquiat’

Art Worth Millions

May 25, 2017

On May 4th, I posted a blog about the 2017 Caldecott Medal Award winner, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. You can see it here.

As a follow-up, I thought readers of this blog might be interested in hearing a bit more about Jean-Michel Basquiat. If you read my previous post, you know Basquiat’s art focused on social and political issues and resonated with a variety of people. He achieved artistic success at an early age. Unfortunately, he died of a drug overdose when he was twenty-seven, leaving behind his artistic legacy. Last Thursday, twenty-nine years after his death, Basquiat’s work, Untitledsold at Sotheby’s auction for an unprecedented amount of $110.5 million. That puts Basquiat’s work among the greatest of the great artists in the world.

“Every single line means something.” ~Jean-Michel Basquiat

basquiat

Untitled

Jean-Michel Basquiat – 1982

“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I think about life.” ~Jean Michel Basquiat

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Radiant Art

May 4, 2017

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

I was not familiar with Jean-Michel Basquiat until I read, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, Little, Brown and Company. This book was awarded the 2017 Caldecott Medal, the 2017 Coretta Scott King Award for its illustrations, and the 2017 NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Literary Work.

radiant

From an early age, Jean-Michel knew he wanted to become a famous artist. His mother was a creative spark in his life, exposing him to literature, theater, museums, and the energy of New York City. His father brought home old paper from the office on which Jean-Michel drew for hours. When his mother became ill, Jean-Michel lost an important mentor in his life. More than ever, drawing and painting were his passion. At night, he spray-painted poems and drawings on the walls in the New York City. His pieces brought attention to the city’s diverse population and its social and political issues. Basquiat’s unique style was embraced by art critics and fans, and, at a young age, he achieved his goal of becoming a famous artist.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~Edgar Degas

What makes this book truly amazing is Javaka Steptoe’s eye-catching illustrations. In the back matter of the book, he provides more information about Jean-Michel Basquiat and adds a poignant author note. Javaka Steptoe was inspired by Basquiat’s work. He saw his graffiti in New York City, read about Basquiat in the newspapers, and went to one of his art shows. In illustrating this book, Steptoe says he used his own interpretations of the artist’s works rather than using copies. The end result is a book filled with vivid illustrations inspired by Basquiat and his unique style. Through his text and art, Javaka Steptoe exposes readers to an extraordinary artist and offers them an opportunity to learn and appreciate artists and their compositions.

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” ~Pablo Picasso


 


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