PHOTO DIARY 006: THE BRYANT FOUNDATION PRESENTS JEAN- MICHAEL BASQUIAT

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Recently, I was lucky enough to snag tickets to the Jean- Michael Basquiat exhibition housed at The Bryant Foundation. With a sense of reconnecting Basquiat to his East Village roots, Dr. Dieter Buchhart was able to curate the exhibit, in collaboration with Foundation Louis Vuitton.

Honestly, this is probably my third Basquiat exhibition and to be honest, it never disappoints. In the height of the 80’s, Basquiat took the art world by storm by producing over 1,000 paintings and 2,000 drawings in less than a decade. As an artistic radical, the size and complexity of these masterpieces are exceptional.

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“Numerous recent retrospectives have spotlighted his radical approach, illuminating his interdisciplinary contributions to music, poetry, performance, and art and cementing him as one of the most forward-thinking artists of his generation, whose complex engagement with social and political questions makes him more relevant than ever.” - Bryant

This exhibit displays Basquiat’s ability to utilize his artwork to depict emotional influences expressing feelings of powerlessness and self-empowerment while also illustrating social injustices such as institutionalized racism, repression, and violence. In Irony of a Negro Policeman (1981), Per Capita (1981), and Untitled (Boxer) (1982) pictured below, Baquiat presents a portrayal of modern oppression and the exploitation of African American culture. It was truly an honor to view his artwork in the same East Village neighborhood that inspired it.

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Bianca Wade