@illustratedimpact asked me to illustrate an historic figure from history for Black History Month.
I choose Jean-Michel Basquiat because he was one of my earliest influencers as an artist. I discovered him around age 11, quickly became obsessed with him and Andy Warhol, I decided that I would be an artist and live in NYC too.
Basquiat was in the art world at an exciting time, he was extremely prolific and painted on everything he could get his hands on. He wrote “SAMO” at a time graffiti wasn’t even a thing. He rose to fame from the punk scene while hip hop was just beginning to take shape, I always loved the bebop influences in his paintings, and you can see how they would have helped shape the art form known as "hip hop" which includes painting, dancing, poetry and music. Jean-Michel became very famous in the art world very quickly, selling his paintings for $50,000, he was considered rich. Though he had immense success he lived with massive discrimination based on his skin color, and appearance. He sights hailing a cab as an impossible task. He died from a drug overdose at age 27, we lost him way too soon. “I’m not a black artist, I’m an artist” ~Jean-Michel Basquiat - 22 days ago