Jean- Michel Basquiat- Mona Lisa 1983


Basquiat produced some work imitating a classic piece from DaVinchi’s “Mona Lisa.” We can see the randomness and the surrealism in this painting due to the numbers and the words that he writes on. The face is distorted and can be interpreted as a kid’s painting, creating originality to the painting that he created.

During that time, the art critiques commented on how his arts were not traditional and makes it interesting for them, defining his art work as the “modern art.”
On the other hand, some critique disagreed and state that it was just an art, that was random and untraditional.Basquiat states that:
“I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.”
The words and the attitude of his concluded him making famous and well known as an Neo-expressionist, and a first black artist to succeed in the all-white dominated art world.
As I reseached about this author, I can say that he pieces cannot be compared to Monet nor Leonardo DaVinchi’s painting skills. Although there is something that attracts people to get interested in his art. During the time when he was active, it was the start of the modern art, when Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and other artist became famous. The Unique use of Surrealism makes the painting interesting, giving the observers to think and think about the “theme” or the “main idea” of the pieces by making them open ended and mysterious.

Compared to the other successful artist in America, there are a lot of pieces that could claim racism and the inequality against the black people in America.

As he becomes famous and starts to know the wealthy life style, he begins to suffer producing pieces, concluding him to use drugs and other disruptive factor triggering his end of his career as  an artist.


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  1. Pingback: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast » Blog Archive » Battle Bunny: A Visit withJon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, and Matthew Myers

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