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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
Enlarge Painting

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kyla from school for democracy and leadership, on the Web
the painting show get the name el gran espectaculo because in my opinion i feel that the painting is exactly that. In the painting he was expressing what he felt and thought about his own heritage and what how he felt others saw his people and what he thought about theirr opinions. it was a true expression of personal feeling in a grand way
gedison ashby aka S.D.L scholar from brooklyn school for democracy and leadership, on the Web
i think that this painting shows alot of things like the painting describes the ancient times, it shows how the picture is spectacular it also talks about a certain disease that usally is carried through a trait but is used to name a boat. this picture also lacks of more details that are shown but cannot be explained.

in this picture it really lacks of texture and most of the picture looks like a collage that gives out a message. but i really think that it is a great piece of art work!!
Derieca from School for Democracy and Leadership, on the Web
I think this painting shows the history of black people. In African art they make alot of mask to celebrate cultral things. I think they tenique in which he drew the lines and having everything not together and having to audience have tyo real look at what the painting mean is very cool. Also the words that he uses in painting give me a sense of emotion to capture what he's acutally trying to say in his painting. The color that he uses it makes the painting kind of look real a scuplture. For an example the mask he paints it black and then uses different colors for it to seem more surreal. This painting to me is very carribbean slash african art like.
REYNALDO from SCHOOL OF DEMOCRCACY AND LEADERSHIP, on the Web
in this painting the artist is showing his idea of the the begining of slavery and apart of african heritage it seems like every painting basquait does he puts his heart and soul into it and creates a master piece.
isaac from san francisco, on the Web
Genius, Genius
Rachel from School for Democracy and Leadership from Brooklyn, on the Web
I think this painting shows ancient times because it has
masks and it shows the history of black people, because in
Africa, people used to dance with masks on their faces. I
think he was trying to show how Brooklyn was when he
was living in it. I think he tried to show it as graffiti.
RV from Los Angeles, on the Web
I find Basquiat's art inspiring even more so today. By reading some of the posts, it is amazing to see the tensions some feel with the unexplicable. He truly was a master and an originator of a style that incorporated images and words evoking feelings of self reflection, hope, and pain. Counter culture is now on display and addressed.
ALEX from sydney, australia, on the Web
i think the word sickle was written because of the whole slave reference, slaves used sickles to cut the crops etc...just a thought...
Peter from Los Angeles, on the Web
In the Mississippi Delta painting "PER 49 LB." i am willing to bet was added later. It looks to typical graffitti writing that basquiat was not doing. Could it be a PER FX tag? any ideas? anybody think it is actually basquiat's hand that did that?
Devoted Fan from Los Angeles, on the Web
We, the Bereaved, Acknowledge the Passing of an Artist
Basquiat, Basquiat
Upon your name I spread and squat
Just as you,
when painting do,
I strafe thee with
my brown onslaught

Only the Enlightened few
fathom what you have to shew
As for me,
and what I see,
the easel's now become a loo

Justice, if it's brought to bear
shall consign your name to where,
in a coil
you will soil
Art History's rotting underwear


Homeless you were said to be;
Unworthy of my sympathy
I, for one
hope to see
Time shit across your legacy.