“Jean-Michell” by Ashley Guest

Micro Pigment ink Portrait on Mixed Media Board of Jean-Michell Basquiat.

8″ x 10″ (Print on smooth fine art paper)

“I was so taken by his mixed style of Graffiti, Street Art & Primitivism in his movement of Neo-expressionism. To me Jean-Michell invented an embodied energy around his art. It’s striking to witness the worth of his works today. It’s that very component in all the worldly things that inspire all of my portraits and other creations.”  –Ashley Guest

Basquiat was raised in a middle-class home in Brooklyn. His mother was an American of Puerto Rican descent. She encouraged Basquiat’s interest in art, taking him to New York City’s great art museums. His parents eventually separated, and he and his sisters lived with their father in Puerto Rico from 1974 to 1976. His mother was diagnosed as mentally ill and eventually was institutionalized. Troubled by his early childhood, Basquiat dropped out of high school and left home at age 17. He lived on the streets, with friends, or in abandoned buildings and began a graffiti campaign with graffiti artists Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson. They created the persona SAMO© (said to represent “same old shit”) and painted anonymous messages—“(SAMO©) A PIN DROPS LIKE A PUNGENT ODOR…” and “SAMO©…JUST IN CASE…”—on walls around SoHo and the East Village and on the D train of the New York City subway system. In the late 1970s that work—together with the work of other graffitists—began to receive notice in the art world, and so did Basquiat. He emerged in the aboveground New York art scene at age 20, about the time that a resurgence of Expressionist painting was at its height, and participated in his first formal public exhibition in “The Times Square Show” (1980). From there his career skyrocketed, and, until his death in 1988, he was a celebrity, represented by major blue-chip galleries in New York and Germany.  short bio by–Lisa S. Wainwright

Original Value: $50



  1. wssadmin

    Michael Barker – $40

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