On August 12, 1988, Jean-Michel Basquiat died at the age of 27. Despite his brief life, Basquiat is arguably one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. In the past couple of years, there has been a global resurgence around Basquiat, particularly through exhibitions done by Brooklyn Museum (USA), AGO Art Gallery (Canada), Guggenheim Bilbao (Spain), _space caribbean (Jamaica), and the renaming of a public square (France).
Last December marked what would have been Basquiat’s 55th birthday. BASQUIAT: STILL FLY @ 55 is a one-day symposium that seeks to reclaim and raise awareness about the legacy of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his significance/ cross-pollination in art, fashion, music, and film. The multiplicity of mediums used by Basquiat propelled him to push the envelope in asking the meaning/ definition of art. We must reconstruct the tragedy narrative tied to Basquiat in order to properly celebrate his life and legacy. Why is Basquiat an inspiration today? What artists are following in his footsteps? And finally, what is the significance of Basquiat appropriation and consumption by corporations and buyers?
This symposium places academic scholars, artists, and cultural critics in conversation with one another with the goal of unraveling the many sides of Basquiat’s personal and professional life (from his Caribbean identity to his friendship with Andy Warhol). Utilizing various social media platforms to inform local and global audiences, the primary goal of this symposium is to contextualize the diasporic impact of this seemingly timeless spirit of art and street culture in order to understand his resurgence today.
This event is free and open to the public.