I was born in Angola, in the city of Malange on the 7th January 1962, one year after the start of the Angolan revolution and the struggle for independence. I lived in Lunda, the Tchokwe region, in the village Camaxilo. In 1975 I celebrated the independence of Angola in Malange and also experienced the beginning of the civil war. At the end of the year I moved to Luanda and saw the ocean for the first time. I stayed in the capital until 1978.
As an Angolan painter living in Holland, I am trying to mix my memories from the past with experiences of everyday-life in Amsterdam and other places, in order to continue creating artworks and by doing so try to enrich the life of other people
“‘Fast Forward’ reveals a complex subject crying out for attention by outlining how the Neo-Expressionists and their ’80s cohort broke painting wide open. Their legacy is a sense of freedom and possibility that infuses the medium to this day.” —Roberta Smith on our new exhibition focusing on 1980s painting form the collection. Read more in The New York Times.
[Left, Kathe Burkhart’s painting “Prick: From the Liz Taylor Series (Suddenly Last Summer),” from 1987, reprises a movie scene with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Right, “Baron Sinister” from 1986, by Walter Robinson. Photogaph by Jake Naughton for The New York Times]
Basquiat’s art focused on “suggestive dichotomies,” such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience. He appropriated poetry, drawing and painting, and married text and image, abstraction and figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, born in Brooklyn, New York, was the second of four children of Matilda Andrades (July 28, 1934 – November 17, 2008) and Gerard Basquiat (born 1930). He had two younger sisters: Lisane, born in 1964, and Jeanine, born in 1967.
His father, Gerard Basquiat, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and his mother, Matilde Basquiat, of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Matilde instilled a love for art in her young son by taking him to art museums in Manhattan and enrolling him as a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Basquiat was a precocious child who learned how to read and write by age four and was a gifted artist. His teachers noticed his artistic abilities, and his mother encouraged her son’s artistic talent. By the age of 11, Basquiat could fluently speak, read and write French, Spanish, and English.
In September 1968, when Basquiat was about 8, he was hit by a car while playing in the street. His arm was broken and he suffered several internal injuries, and he eventually underwent a splenectomy. While he was recuperating from his injuries, his mother brought him the Gray’s Anatomy book to keep him occupied. This book would prove to be influential in his future artistic outlook. His parents separated that year and he and his sisters were raised by their father. The family resided in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, for five years, then moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974. After two years, they returned to New York City.
When he was 11, his mother was committed to a mental institution and thereafter spent time in and out of institutions. At 15, Basquiat ran away from home. He slept on park benches inWashington Square Park, and was arrested and returned to the care of his father within a week.
Basquiat dropped out of Edward R. Murrow High School in the tenth grade. His father banished him from the household and Basquiat stayed with friends in Brooklyn. He supported himself by selling T-shirts and homemade post cards.
In 1976, Basquiat and friend Al Diaz began spray-painting graffiti on buildings in Lower Manhattan, working under the pseudonym SAMO. The designs featured inscribed messages such as “Plush safe he think.. SAMO” and “SAMO as an escape clause”. In 1978, Basquiat worked for the world famous Unique Clothing Warehouse, in their art department, at 718 Broadway in NoHo and at night he became “SAMO” painting his original graffiti art on neighborhood buildings. Harvey discovered Basquiat painting a building one night, they became friends, and Harvey offered him a day job. On December 11, 1978, the Village Voicepublished an article about the graffiti. When Basquiat & Diaz ended their friendship, The SAMO project ended with the epitaph “SAMO IS DEAD,” inscribed on the walls of SoHo buildings in 1979.
In 1979, Basquiat appeared on the live public-access television cable TV show TV Party hosted by Glenn O'Brien, and the two started a friendship. Basquiat made regular appearances on the show over the next few years. That same year, Basquiat formed the noise rock band Test Pattern – which was later renamed Gray – which played at Arleen Schloss´s open space, “Wednesdays at A`s”, where in October 1979 Basquiat showed, among others, his SAMO color Xerox work.
Gray also consisted of Shannon Dawson, Michael Holman, Nick Taylor, Wayne Clifford and Vincent Gallo, and the band performed at nightclubs such asMax’s Kansas City, CBGB, Hurrah, and the Mudd Club. In 1980, Basquiat starred in O'Brien's independent filmDowntown 81, originally titled New York Beat. That same year, Basquiat met Andy Warhol at a restaurant. Basquiat presented to Warhol samples of his work, and Warhol was stunned by Basquiat’s genius and allure. The men later collaborated. Downtown 81 featured some of Gray’s recordings on its soundtrack. Basquiat also appeared in the Blondie music video “Rapture” as a nightclub disc jockey.
The early 1980s were Basquiat’s breakthrough as a solo artist. In June 1980, Basquiat participated in The Times Square Show, a multi-artist exhibition sponsored by Collaborative Projects Incorporated (Colab) and Fashion Moda. In September of the same year, Basquiat joined the Annina Nosei gallery and worked in a basement below the gallery toward his first one-man show, which took place in March 1981 with great success (helping him prepare the show was Joe La Placa, who soon became a partner with Guillaume Gallozzi in the Gallozzi-La Placa Gallery, a promoter of Basquiat and other graffiti luminaries). In late 1981, Rene Ricard published “The Radiant Child” in Artforum magazine, which brought Basquiat to the attention of the art world.
From November 1982, Basquiat worked from the ground-floor display and studio space Larry Gagosian had built below his Venice home and commenced a series of paintings for a 1983 show, his second at Gagosian Gallery, then in West Hollywood. During this time he took considerable interest in the work thatRobert Rauschenberg was producing at Gemini G.E.L. in West Hollywood, visiting him on several occasions and finding inspiration in the accomplishments of the painter. In 1982, Basquiat also worked briefly with musician and artist David Bowie.
In 1983, Basquiat produced a 12"rap single featuring hip-hop artists Rammellzee and K-Rob. Billed as Rammellzee vs. K-Rob, the single contained two versions of the same track: “Beat Bop” on side one with vocals and “Beat Bop” on side two as an instrumental. The single was pressed in limited quantities on the one-off Tartown Record Company label. The single’s cover featured Basquiat’s artwork, making the pressing highly desirable among both record and art collectors.
At the suggestion of Swiss dealer Bruno Bischofberger, Warhol and Basquiat worked on a series of collaborative paintings between 1983 and 1985. In the case of Olympic Rings (1985), Warhol made several variations of the Olympic five-ring symbol, rendered in the original primary colors. Basquiat responded to the abstract, stylized logos with his oppositional graffiti style.
Basquiat often painted in expensive Armani suits and would even appear in public in the same paint-splattered suits.
By 1986, Basquiat had left the Annina Nosei gallery, and was showing in the famous Mary Boone gallery in SoHo. On February 10, 1985, he appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazinein a feature entitled “New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist”. He was a successful artist in this period, but his growing heroin addiction began to interfere with his personal relationships.
When Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987, Basquiat became increasingly isolated, and his heroin addiction and depression grew more severe. Despite an attempt at sobriety during a trip to Maui, Hawaii, Basquiat died on August 12, 1988, of a heroin overdose at his art studio in Great Jones Street in New York City's NoHo neighborhood. He was 27.
BMW Art Car Number 13: Sandro Chia Prototype 3 Series Touring Racer
“I have created both a picture and a world. Everything that is looked at closely turns into a face. A face is a focus, a focus of life and the world.”
“Paint me, paint me!”, the racing car‟s surface had called out to him, said Sandro Chia. So he started to paint, painted faces and a sea of intensive colours until the car‟s whole bodywork had been completely covered. “The automobile is a much coveted object within our society”, said Sandro Chia commenting on his work. “It is the centre of attraction. People look at it. This car reflects those looks.” The design of the Art Car was not his first artistic involvement with an automobile. Even as a child he painted graffiti on cars.
The renaissance city of Florence, where Sandro Chia was born in 1946, is the world of his childhood and his youth, a world in which he learned to take a playful and relaxed approach towards the fine arts. As early as in the seventies he displayed his work at important individual exhibitions and was soon recognized as one of the most significant artists of the Italian Transavanguardia. He sees himself as a neo-expressionist, his figurative painting revealing signs of having been influenced by Carrà, de Chirico, Picasso as well as Montegna and Giorgione.
Dil Humphrey-Umezulike aka Dilomprizulike aka The Junkman Of Africa
Style: neo-expressionist sculpture
medium: Mixed/ Junk
Fun Fact: He creates sculptures and performances that are tied deeply to traditional African masquerade yet informed by postmodern awareness. He lives in what seems to be a junkyard in a permanent performance, recycling the detritus of Lagos into artwork, clothes, a home, and a way of life that questions much of what we take for granted.
Quote:Talent is not Enough.In my 25 years of art practice, I have severally encountered a curious need to attend to a characteristically fleeting and ever smaller world which seems also almost non-existent. This development tends to vehemently challenge established norms of art practice as well as the modules of art education, thereby dictating a significant shift in the exploration of artistic practices; not only in the packaging of aesthetics, myths and skills in artistic creations but more as a vehicle of expression; in respect to the place and iconic rendering of art in and for an evolving society. In no other time therefore is the demand for a dynamic representation of art so necessary.