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Street to Studio: The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Presented by JPMorganChase.
Visual Poetry
"If you read his canvases out loud to yourself, the repetition, the rhythm, you can hear Jean-Michel thinking. You can see that this is a poetic, rhythmic type of blending of word with image." — Fred Brathwaite (Fab 5 Freddy)

Think about Ricard's interpretation of Jimmy Best... Why do you agree or disagree with him that racism is an issue here?

Basquiat made this painting nearly twenty-five years ago. What in your life will forever affect who you are and what you will become? Have you or your friends experienced racism? What have you learned from these experiences?

Image of Jimmy Best...
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Nikki from Long Beach, on the Web
I saw this original yesterday at the MOCA opening here in L.A. and found the symbolism pretty profound. I haven't seen much of his work but what I saw yesterday really opened my eyes to what he was all about. The car crashes the halos, the crowns and boxers were a constant through many of the pieces. I can't wait to see more of his work.
Janice from Houston, on the Web
I think that this was a very troubled man. The fact that he died from an overdose of drugs makes me sad. I am sad that his life is being honored and celebrated after his death. Who can we blame for his misguided interpretation of this world. How can a child born in a pure state become so dark in his thinking. Did his parents fail him, did his teachers not see the gift in him. What lead him to drugs?

My prayer is that each of us revisit how we treat people and find opportunities to encourge young people no matter how strange they may appear.

Alycia from Indianapolis, IN, on the Web
The Basquiat style roars of a profound sense of inner turmoil. In this work you can see both the man and the man-child battling with one another over whom could lay claim to the mind, and therefore, the tallent. Both his color choices and quick and sometimes careless strokes project the anger and resentment of an angry youth hellbent on making sense of the chaos within. One can clearly see in his images the breaking of everything Basquiat ever thought he once knew. It is a stunning visual portrayal of a deep disapointment in mankind... and in hisself.
Linda from Houston, on the Web
Basquiat truely had his on style. I had to look at it over and over for awhile. There is a lot of detail and one cannot rush through it. I wondered if he got inspiration from his drug use or if he painted while he was on a drug trip. "Jimmy Best"t is very interesting.
Juanito from Houston, on the Web
Interesting... all remarks about he exhibit, and the pieces of art reflect one thing: in my mind, Basquiant wanted to transmit a feeling... even by doing a simple " graffitti", full of typical content that you can find on any street in New York, Paris or London (et. al.); they all got it! Even by saying "it is not art", "it is trash", "it is enlightening", "superb art", or whatever... this kid, perhaps just full of unwanted fame, was able to transmit his messages. Is art just a way of communication? is it an expression of beauty? does it have to be a representative piece of good drawing skills? or just a white canvas... whatever it is, the fact of seeing three pages of postings about this " graffitti " (positive or negative) I believe shows the value of his message... just be honest, he's got his idea out with six lines of text and a sketch of two cars crashing...