A tribute to

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Expectations. Who defines them? The artist, or the world? Who can define art? Who can be called an artist?


It’s all bullshit. Screw the art establishment. While I try to make my way in the arts career, I have found the most monstrous reality for artists, who trying to survive, do everything they can to enter galleries to sell their works for any alms, in order to obtain some recognition and thus be able to call themselves “artists”, meeting the expectations of some art collectors.


Fuck all this. Jean-Michael Basquiat was lucky to have had a successful life in the art world, since he was able to live off his talent, his paintings made money for him, and his art was appreciated by many.


But it was also spat on by many critics, belittled and insulted. He always wanted to be recognized as one of the best, but Basquiat, why, if inside you knew that you were?


Cruel is the world of the artist. In French there is a saying that goes “c’est triste la vie d’artiste”. And it is! So many artists die in misery because they failed to convince the art elite of their enormous talents and genius. I wonder how many other geniuses are to this day anonymous.


Van Gogh, Sebastian Bach, Oscar Wilde, Allan Poe, Vermeer, Kafka. They all died in misery and today thousands fill their pockets thanks to the art that the status quo rejected in their time.


Basquiat, for his part, and despite the fact that his paintings sold for enough money to have a more than comfortable life, he was never truly taken seriously and to this day, one of his paintings is part of history as one of the most expensive ever sold, with a value of more than 110 million dollars, and his works are exhibited even by those places that closed their doors to him and denied him respect when he was alive.


One of the strongest triggers for his heroin addiction was the fact that he failed to meet the expectations of the establishment, that his talent was neither recognized nor understood by the industry. While, ironically, that same industry kept on demanding him to produce more and more. As if art was just a mass-produced commodity.


As I said with Bowie, Basquiat was not an artist, but he himself was pure physical art. I think his whole body was atoms of art put together, that art flowed through his veins, and it’s like if even in his name he carried his talent.


“Basquiart” is a tribute to art itself. And it is also a personal expression of mine as an artist against an establishment that invents rules that cannot exist in art, against an elitism and a snobbery that goes against the inherent nobility of artistic expression, and against the exploitation of artists destined for the most part to choose between living a normal life and living comfortably, or choosing to make art and survive however they can.