In September the great season of exhibitions in Milan is coming up.
The exhibition at Palazzo Reale of Hokusai and Ukiyo-e masters has just opened, while, from 27th October, you can see in Milan the largest retrospective of the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat hosted at Mudec.
Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York, December 22, 1960, a Haitian father and Puertorican mother. His fame began on the streets of Manhattan; signing as SAMO, acronym of “Same Ol’Shit”, his graffiti, often by revolutionary phrases, begin to arouse the curiosity of great artistic impresarios of Manhattan and in 1978 the Village Voice devoted an article to his works.
After several television appearances and in addition to fame as an artist, Basquiat became well known as a musician with his band Gray, which was part of the actor Vincent Gallo. But his career as a musician is not comparable to that his artist career, which took off around 1980.
The retrospective, curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Gianni Mercurio, consists of circa100 works from private collections, crossing the entire Basquiat career. The New York is a mail feature of the Basquiat’s work.
The city described by Basquiat is that of the late seventies and eighties, a metropolis bankrupt, corrupt and poor but infinitely fertile from an artistic point. The Basquiat art, from his provocative graffiti on the walls or on the railroad tracks subway to his paintings, influenced the contemporary street artists. His painting is not classifiable in any art categories; Basquiat called himself an “analphabet artist” because of infantilism and immediacy that characterized the traits of his works. His art could be called “poor art”, coming from the slums, a current of figurative art where often you can recognize influences of artists like Picasso or Miro, who have always been considered by Basquiat as sources of inspiration.
His subjects and his thematic have also been influenced by the Afro-American culture. Often the paintings have social character linked to racial issues, and some of his works are dedicated to the great legends of the sport, a political leader or to black musicians.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was considered an outsider and after his death by overdose, was nicknamed the “James Dean of modern art” because of his rise followed unfortunately by a premature death.
After the first exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1992 followed by the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2005, this exhibition at Mudec is the third largest retrospective dedicated to Jean-Michel Basquiat, the first in Europe. The exhibition will be open to the public until 26th February 2017, so don’t miss this event and plan your visit to Milan!
Website of the exhibition: www.mudec.it/eng/jean-michel-basquiat/.