basquiat portrait

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Here are the three portraits I did for Black History Month last February: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Moms Mabley, Billie Holiday. I’m hoping to do a lot more this February. Who do you want to see portraits of? Add your suggestions in the notes <3 <3 <3 I’m going to try to do them in watercolor, and I want to start with Rosa Parks, Malcom X, Grace Jones…Ilhan Omar! Idk, this is the beginning of a very long list!

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Jean-Michel Basquiat in his Great Jones Street studio, in front of a piss painting of himself by Andy Warhol. The canvas had been covered in the copper paint and urine was applied. The urine reacts with the copper paint to create oxidation, then Basquiat’s image was silk-screened onto the canvas.

Photos by Tseng Kwong Chi, 1987.

Is there a work of art that evokes memories from a specific time in your life? Artist Mathew Cerletty’s admiration for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans began with a poster in his college dorm room. Watch more on Whitney Stories.