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Getting to Know Basquiat

Updated: Nov 17


I was genuinely excited when I was invited to participate in a tribute show for Basquiat by Artemis Gallery. As a self taught artist, I gained most of my art history knowledge through reading books, watching documentaries, attending workshops and from my mentors. It was during my learning quest that I discovered Jean-Michel Basquiat and have been fascinated with his works ever since.


An extraordinary prodigious talent, Basquait, synthesised ideas based on his experiences with the world around him, which made him an amazing visual storyteller. His artworks were very expressive, provocative and a lot of thought were put into them, prompting people to immediately connect with his pieces.

Boy & Dog in a Johnnypump (circa 1982)


His usage of collages, oils and found objects was his way of expressing art in every way and form. There were no boundaries. Language was also key in Basquiat's works and contrary to what people may think, Basquiat was very well read and his hunger to push information into his paintings in ‘no order’ was simply brilliant.


How has Basquiat inspired me? I believe it is his nonchalance about not having proper training in art and through his own initiative to understand and learn art history by visiting museums, reading, studying the masters, but most of all his effortless style in making art into something accessible to everyone till today.


In this two part exhibition series, a collaboration between Artemis Gallery, Malaysia and four other South East Asian Galleries, I am exploring Basquiat as a human being. He was a very complex individual who suffered from depression, which eventually lead to his early demise at only 27 years of age. A precious life and talent lost to the world forever.



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Exhibition : Part 1: Conversation with Basquiat



The painting contemplates the fragility of life and urges us to live every moment to the fullest and embrace ourselves

as the unique gift that we are.


Box of Chocolates by Rekha Menon

Mixed Media no Canvas,

76cm x 61cm,

2020






Exhibition: Part 2: Coming Soon! (Dec 2020)
















References

The Art Channel : 'Basquiat: Boom for Real' at the Barbican Art Gallery

Jean Michel Basquiat: A Collection of 135 Works


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© 2020 Rekha Menon Art & Design