Sampling Basquiat...

Believe it or not, I can actually draw.
- Jean-Michel Basquiat


It took me to 2015 to see a 'real' Basquiat, up close and personal in New York City. His work still feels transcendent to me - curiously, his wordplay as much as his painting....couplets, poetic dissonance, savage, direct, knowing critique of the dialectics of pop art's white lineage. So much to say here. He was, of course, also a musician - and was Madonna's beau for a period.

Moreover, Basquiat's approach to the use of words is a direct, potent corollary with audio sampling. Dig if you will, the following excerpt:

"(words)...when I'm working, I hear them.... I just thrown them down... that was from a guidebook on Roman history...I didn't snatch them...they caught my eye and I took them..."

"(on anatomy)...not really imitating....I use them as a source material.....academic references"

Jump to 5"27 here if you want to mainline this.

...and another....

...and a few iphone photos I took of his work in 2015 - which don't do them justice, but still leave me reeling.