Friday, November 01, 2013

Basquiat and Money

There's a famous photo of J-M Basquiat barefoot, wearing an Armani suit with paint splashed all over the pants.  This isn't it (because he doesn't have paint on his pants), but you get the picture ...

The man had an interesting relationship with money and financial institutions.  Over the last week I've posted two Basquiat images (which isn't unusual -- I love the guy).  This one (which I bastardized in the earlier version for my own editorial purposes -- this is the painting as it actually looks) ...

And this one ...

References to money crop up everywhere.  "Bank of Jamaica" all over the bottom one.  "This note for all debts, public and private" in the top one.  Repeated throughout his oeuvre.  Or oeuf.  Whichever isn't an egg.

Anyway, not surprising:  Desperately poor street kid suddenly becomes rich/slash/paints in expensive suits/slash/develops a massive drug habit/slash/ends up dead.  [This is how The Times style book would, apparently, have me write it]  You see it all the time.

"Pay for soup.  Build a fort.  Set that on fire." -- maybe his most famous line.  I would have loved to see what Basquiat would have had to say, in his painterly fashion, about the world of finance today.  Very sad.

Man, you gotta let that slash business go.  All that negativity just isn't good for you.
You're right.  It's becoming an obsession.


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