Image Galleries
Artist Index
Sitter Index
Tour Schedule

         JEAN–MICHEL  BASQUIAT     
         1960–1988

blank

Up
Down

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a highly visible presence in the New York avant-garde art scene of the 1980s. Having made a name for himself as a graffiti artist using the tag SAMO—short for "same old shit"—Basquiat developed into an important Neo-Expressionist painter. His work often explored political themes such as racial conflict and economic oppression. Although critics often chafed at his "dramatic and bristly displays of superstardom," ARTnews wrote at the time of his death that "Basquiat's talent surpassed his notoriety as the rebellious young artist raging against the commercializing forces of society." In 1982 Basquiat sat for his portrait in the studio of famed Harlem photographer James VanDerZee, who was then ninety-six. After this sitting, Basquiat painted VanDerZee's portrait.

James VanDerZee (1886–1983)
Gelatin silver print, 1982
Published January 1989
Donna Mussenden VanDerZee
©Donna Mussenden VanDerZee
(Printable page)

<  Return to Artist Index
<  Return to Sitter Index

Publisher's Essay Publisher's Essay About the Exhibition About the Exhibition Exhibition Catalogue National Portrait Gallery homepage Portrait of the Art World homepage Exhibition sponsor Exhibition credits Copyright information Portrait of the Art World homepage