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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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Jennifer from Brooklyn-NY, on the Web
This is actually my first time seeing or even hearing about Basquiat. My girlfriend took me to the museum and i was taken aback by the art. I don't so much feel that it's only art but his way of being heard about his take on the world. I did enjoy it very much. The fact that he always had something to say in regards to poverty,capitalism, and just overall global economy really said something for who he is, what he beleives and how soceity was handled. I was trully inspired by his work and would love to explore it more. I wish i was shown such inspiration years ago.
I hope to learn more of his work.
Per Capita, 1981
gedison ashby aka S.D.L scholar from brooklyn school for democracy and leadership, on the Web
i think that this picture show great meaning and is realated to alot of things in life it shows good line texture the paint that was used stand's out greatly it gives a message that can realate to life because it show's a sign of poverty, unequality, and the difference between poor and rich. if i had to rate this piece of art work on a scale from 1 - 10 i would give it a complete 10 because it is very explainable , it show details so that viewers can understand the message that is given out in the picture. if i had to change any thing in this picture i would choose not to because everything is explained for it's self.
Derieca from School for Democracy and Leadershipp, on the Web
I think this painting is like a political cartoon. Basquiat used this painting to get a message across without getting involved to much in politics. In this i think Basquiat is trying to say be open minded to new things and sometimes change is good. He uses alot of color in this painting. I think he uses the boxer to symbolize intergration because he painted it black with a torch. This painting had a lot of different line structure and most of them arent straight. This painting symbolizes the way basquiat believes the world should be.
REYNALDO from SCHOOL FOR DEMOCRACY AND LEADERSHIP, on the Web
THIS IS MY FAVORITE PAINTING FROM THE ARTIST IT SYMBOLIIZES AFRICAN-AMERICANS STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY AND THE FIGHT FOR LIBERTY AND I THINK IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE THE THE ARTIST SHOWS WISDOM BEYOND HIS YEARS
Rachel from School for Democracy and Leadership from Brooklyn, on the Web
I think this picture shows a black person living in poverty. I think
that this shows the difference between black and white people.
If he painted a picture of a white person, the background would
be totally different. I think there would be big houses and people dressed in better clothes.
dorothy from Fresno, on the Web
Basquiat's art has been a favorite of mine up there with Picasso, Miro, and Matisse ever since I first knew of it. ( I was shelving art books at a bookstore, saw a book on his art and had to devour every page.) I like his work better than Warhol's. It has meaning.
I love the significance of his thoughts and ideas and his courage to express them, to stir things - his art moves like music in multidimentional ways. When someone says it's like children's art, that's a quality that Picasso strived for and successfully achieved. Children are so honest, so genuine. Basquiat's art have those same qualities. His art is true.
w!z from Los Angeles, on the Web
I scanned through this forum and saw a couple mentions of his lack of skill.

Art is not about skill as much as it is about vision and expression. If one cannot find skill in his work, it is because they have never learned to open themselves up to express their thoughts freely, or they cannot connect with his feelings on the subject matter.

Feel however you want about his art because that is your right, but ask yourself whether you judging it as a creation of a unique human being or as a decoration that you would like to hang on your wall.

Nicky Barton from Charlottesville,Va, on the Web
Even though this picture was painted before it actually happened it reminded me of when Muhamud Ali carried the torch at the olympics games. This is like that because ali fought for the blacks and was like a angel watching over them and shining light on them.
Cindy Warne from Camarillo, Ca, on the Web
I recently saw this painting (Per Capita) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Of the many pieces of Basquaiat's work I saw that day, this is my favorite. To all those here, and elsewhere, claiming that this 'isn't art' I ask you to look inward and define art not in the terms of 'well, I could create that!' but rather in the story a painting tells. Basquait is telling a story in this painting, if you look close, and remove judgment, you can hear it.
Iracy from Houston, TX, on the Web
I certainly do not receive a positve vibe after viewing Basquait. I feel that he is dark, cynical and somewhat left field.