I am pushing myself to grow as an artist through challenges which take me out of my mixed-media-portrait comfort zone. For this challenge, I asked people online to choose their favourite artist and a portrait from their instagram account.
These are the resulting blends of style and subject.
Steadman on Strathmore
The Appropriation of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Basquiat is a painter and I tend away from traditional canvases and styles. This is exactly the type of challenge that I requested. However, the real challenge for this piece was creating a work which honoured the original spirit of Basquiat without being an oblivious appropriation. To create a knock off Basquiat is very unBasquiat. Underlying this challenge is my whiteness. I felt that I needed to address that directly. This became a primary theme within the piece.
I rejected the idea of using Basquiat’s characteristic crown. It is not mine to give. Instead, I created three lines to symbolize the jazz flute sound.
In the style of Basquiat, I created three panels within the canvas to give credit to the history of the Jazz flute. The first two panels feature Swing Jazz Flautists Joe Thomas and Alberto Socarras.
I worked on the piece using Basquiat’s method of painting layers of symbol and meaning into the piece. Some details of the underpainting are sacrificed for the overall piece.
Clicking on each image will allow you to view the work as a slideshow.
I also incorporated a significant word into the piece.