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Street to Studio: The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Presented by JPMorganChase.
Heritage
"I'd say my mother gave me all the primary things. The art came from her." — Jean-Michel Basquiat

This painting has had at least three different titles at different times: El Gran Espectáculo and History of Black People as well as the current name, The Nile. How is each name appropriate in its own way? What would you choose to call this painting?

What does this painting say about Basquiat's personal heritage as a black, male, Caribbean, Brooklyn-born, Spanish-speaking artist? How does The Nile make you think about your own heritage?

Image of The Nile
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thatshawtyfrombedetuy from brooklyn, on the Web
I feel that every tittle he choose to write about is very good because without the words people would be lost.every painting on heritage was good because many blacks go through different diseases and he specificly chose on which was sickle cell aminema then he cose to write about the nile river which is located in egypt he was a gut that draw pictures in his own little way and then pictured wat it looked like and wrote a brief summary on it.
alexis from brooklyn, on the Web
i would like the title to be history of Black.Why? Because Basquits is an black artist who have very good art work.In his painting he have masks of the african culture and that represent our black culture.He also wrote the word slave in english, and spanish. I feel that these words and images represent the suffering that Black people been through for years.
Diane from Brooklyn, on the Web
The original titles of the painting speaks for it self. personaly the name of the painting should be History of Black. The reason why I choose this title is because of the heritage of Basquiat. As black African American our heritage is mixed with many diffrent types. For example Basquiat is a black, male, Caribbean, Brooklyn-born,Spanish-speaking and that's why the painting can represent him, but it can also reflect on me as will. In the painting there were many diffrent words, some in english some in spanish this is an other reason why the painting can represent History of Black. Slavy started ib africa that then came to the Cariddean and then the U.S. thats why there is so many diffirent type of people out the and bBasquiat can relat to that.
Jonquella from Brooklyn ny, on the Web
I feel "The Nile" in the painting Herieage by Basquita symboliae African americans as a whole. The Nile is which brings african americans and other races back together from which they was tooken from. for example the word "slave" is by the Nile in the painting to show that during slavery African americans and others expreinced 400 years of abuses and was beat brutly for the color of their skin.
Herb Gotti from Brooklyn,East New York, on the Web
Honestly I don't care what he wants to call it because he painted the picture and it should be his choice I don't know one!
E-Dolla Holla from Bread-Stuy M.B.C from Brooklyn, on the Web
I think the name of this picture should Coming Up, Growing Up, Changes, or Differences or The Struggle because its basically about the world changing as he was growing up. For example Sickle is short for Sickle Cell which is a disease, and back then they really didn't know how to handle it but now there's a treatment for it but its not a fast curing disease.
Antonio from Spain, on the Web
Para Sydney aka Diva from Brooklyn.

Soy Antonio desde Espa?a. S? me gusta el cuadro "Pegasus"
de Basquiat pero no lo encuentro en la tienda del museo.
Sabes donde?
Sydney aka Diva from Brooklyn, on the Web
Para Antonio
Hola. Realmente no s? d?nde a menos que usted baje de ?l del Internet. ?Como cu?l es Espa?a? Tengo dese? siempre visitar pero nunca tener el dinero. ?C?mo viejo es usted? ?Pegasus se ofrece en este sitio?
TYRINA/ PRETTY EYEZ from BROOKLYN/ DA STUY, on the Web
I THINK THAT IT SHOULD BE CALL THE HISTORY OF BLACK. THE RESON WHY IS IT CHOOSE THIS TITLE IS BECAUSE BASQUIAT IS AN AFICAN-AMERICAN. AND ALSO BECAUSE IT SHOW THE DIFFERENT THING THAT BLACK PEOLE HAD TO GO THREW. FOR AN EXAMPLE HE HAS AN PICTURE OF AN BOAT WITH PANITING OF BLACK FACES. BASQUIAT IS AN VERY GREAT ARTIST.
You Know what time it is from Fort Lauderdale, on the Web
Basquiat is an American first and foremost. He represents what America is "Supposed" to be all about, a melting pot. He is a melting pot of different cultures. I am Haitian, Part Dominican, Born in Brooklyn and appear black though I am mixed. Because of my heritage which is mixed with all kinds of people from around the world, I tend to appreciate different cultures positive contributions to the world. I have been discriminated against by whites, spanish and blacks for that matter. None of that is important though. What is important is Basquiat's art. This man is an artist, and as such is expressing himself though art. What keeps striking me is the fact that everyone here thinks that the sickle in the picture represent "Sickle Cell Anemia". Why do you think this? What else in this painting give you the suggestion that he was even remotely thinking of sickle cell. Let me get this straight. You see Boats, The word amen, the nile, allusions to Kemet-Egypt and a sickle. (which Pharoahs used as an scepter of sort) and it makes you think of sickle cell? that's too much.
As far as art being "In your face" and easily deciphered, as one of the previous posters mentioned. "My 11 year old makes better paintings, blah, blah ,blah... Truly this person does not look at things beyond their obvious trappings. Some of the best art out there is hard to decipher. Which makes it good. You can come back to a painting like this over and over again and always find something that you missed last time you viewed it. This painting is a perfect representation of that. Basquiat seemed to like to hide his meanings and also stack issues on top of each other, so as you stare at his art you see much more.
Also I am sure that this is why he is considered one of the great artist of the 20th century. Some pretty good art critics had to have reviewed his paintings and have seen this and said to themselves "Ha this person is witty, I like it"