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Street to Studio: The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Presented by JPMorganChase.
Justice and Equality
"I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life." — Jean-Michel Basquiat

What role can art play in our thinking about issues of social justice and equality?
What role does money play in our thinking about social justice and equality?
How does your family's income level affect your place in society?

Image of Per Capita
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William from Brooklyn, on the Web
Art has the power to present problems that the general public never knew existed as vivid images. Through art, issues of social justice and equality are broken down into thought-provoking pieces, and then reassemble them in our heads. Art is like the mass media, but it puts the problems we face today into greater depth. It stirs up commotion in a way that makes the viewer feel as if you were standing in the shoes of the sufferer.
Michael from Brooklyn, on the Web
Money plays a very big role in our opinions and personal thoughts about social justice and equality. Your social status or placement on the social scale will influence the way you think. If money is not an issue in one's household they might not immediately see the social injustices and inequlaties that exist today. When money is scarce it will cause someone to think very strongly or more often about social justice and equality.
Drew from Brooklyn, on the Web
I feel that few of Basquait's paintings offer solutions to social problems. Instead, they give us an opportunity to contemplate or attempt to contemplate these problems. He presents them to us in a way that bites us on the nose and gets our attention but is not always clear about what he wants us to know once he gets our attention. As I search for the meaning or opinion Basquiat is attempting to express, I get frustrated because it is not evident. This frustration and helplessness resembles the emotions I experience when I think of the hopelessness of poverty and inequality or war or racism. I wonder if Basquiat intended for me to feel this way.
pasquale from staten island, at the exhibition
i feel that i am a better painter than basquiat

seclusion favor junkette hall.
Mo from Weeki Wachee Florida, on the Web
As an artist myself, I use symbolism as my main arrow quirt and Basquiat's work has inspired me to loosen up my brushwork and select more contemporary arrows. I read several of his writings (and rants) in books, so I know that he could speak um "right on target" ( forgive me). Thanks JM! Wish ya was still slinging....
Jason from Brooklyn, New York, on the Web
A correction to the website.
Under the "Heritage" Link it says "Amen" is another expression for "Amun" an Egyptian god.

This word in both English and Greek is a transliteration from the Hebrew ?a?men?. The meaning is "so be it," or "surely." The Hebrew root word from which it is drawn (?a?man?) means "be faithful; be trustworthy."

In the Hebrew Scriptures the word is used as a solemn expression to obligate oneself legally to an oath or covenant and its consequences (Nu 5:22; De 27:15-26; Ne 5:13), also as a solemn expression to subscribe to an expressed prayer (1Ch 16:36), to an expression of praise (Ne 8:6), or to an expressed purpose (1Ki 1:36; Jer 11:5). Each of the first four books, or collections, of the Psalms concludes with this expression, perhaps indicating that it was customary for the congregation of Israel to join in at the end of the song or psalm with an "Amen."-Ps 41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48.

The Hebrew word ?a?man? is applied to Jehovah as "the faithful God" (De 7:9; Isa 49:7) and describes his reminders and promises as "trustworthy" and "faithful." (Ps 19:7; 89:28, 37) In the Christian Greek Scriptures the title "Amen" is applied to Christ Jesus as "the faithful and true witness." (Re 3:14) Jesus made singular use of the expression in his preaching and teaching, using it very often to preface a statement of fact, a promise, or a prophecy, thereby emphasizing the absolute truthfulness and reliability of what he said. (Mt 5:18; 6:2, 5, 16; 24:34) In these cases the Greek word (a?men?) is translated as "truly" (KJ, "verily") or, when doubled, as throughout the book of John, "most truly." (Joh 1:51) Jesus' use of "amen" in this way is said to be unique in sacred literature, and it was consistent with his divinely given authority.-Mt 7:29.

However, as Paul shows at 2 Corinthians 1:19, 20, the title "Amen" applies to Jesus not merely as a truth speaker or as a true prophet and spokesman of God but also as the one in whom all of God's promises find fulfillment. His course of faithfulness and obedience even to a sacrificial death confirms and makes possible the bringing to reality of all the promises and declarations of God's purpose. He was the living Truth of those revelations of God's purpose, the things to which God had sworn.-Compare Joh 1:14, 17; 14:6; 18:37.

The expression "Amen" is used many times in letters, especially those of Paul, when the writer has expressed some form of praise to God (Ro 1:25; 16:27; Eph 3:21; 1Pe 4:11) or expresses the wish that God's favor be manifested in some manner toward the recipients of the letter. (Ro 15:33; Heb 13:20, 21) It is also used where the writer earnestly subscribes to what is expressed.-Re 1:7; 22:20.

The prayer expressed at 1 Chronicles 16:36 and those contained in the Psalms (41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48), as well as the expressions contained in the canonical letters, all indicate the correctness of the use of "Amen" at the close of prayers. It is true that not all the prayers recorded show such conclusion, such as David's closing prayer for Solomon (1Ch 29:19) or Solomon's dedication prayer at the inauguration of the temple (1Ki 8:53-61), although such expression may well have been made. (Note 1Ch 29:20.) Similarly, its use is not recorded in Jesus' prayers (Mt 26:39, 42; Joh 17:1-26) or in the prayer of the disciples at Acts 4:24-30. However, the weight of the prior evidence presented strongly indicates the rightness of the use of "Amen" as a conclusion to prayer, and Paul's statement at 1 Corinthians 14:16 in particular shows that it was customary for those in Christian assembly to join in the Amen to a prayer. Additionally, the examples of those in heaven, recorded at Revelation 5:13, 14; 7:10-12; and 19:1-4, all give support to its use in subscribing to prayers or solemn statements and thereby, through the use of this one word, expressing the confidence, strong approval, and earnest hope that is in their hearts.
loikj from middle village, on the Web
he draws interestin shit
Rosali from Bronx, New York, on the Web
Artwork can play an important role in todays society only because art is way of expressing your feelings. Basquiat expressed is feelings on the role that he played in society and how society probably effected his life.
Rebecca from Houston, on the Web
You have to be kidding me about this guy's work. How is it art? I could paint better than that in the fifth grade. Just goes to show you how anyone can do anything these days and throw it up to whomever has time and will listen and they will look at it and draw all these weird and complicated inferences when there is really nothing there.
There is nothing there that shows talent; just garbage. I will see it when it finally comes to Houston to see if there really is anything there but I don't see it.
TONY from MIDDLETOWN-CT, on the Web
He completely understood all aspects of "CAPITALISM" and how it affects people on a GLOBAL SCALE. The "BOXER" represent the 'DOWNTRODDEN" which is everyone whose annual salary is less than $250K per annum....3 percent of the PEOPLE owns 98 percent of the WEALTH, 20 percent of that 3 percent makes around $200K per annum and thinks they are in the top 3 percent.."BOXER" depicts those of us in the 97 percent group- seeking EQUITY not jusT EQUAITY

..boxers' legacy....2200