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Wednesday, April 26 • 1:00pm - 1:20pm
The Racial Disparities Within The Art And Life Of Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Jean-Michel Basquiat was a prominent neo-expressionist artist within the 1970s until his early death in 1988. His work brought the culture of graffiti and street art into fine art galleries and elite museums around the world building opportunities for black and other minority artists that would follow him in years to come. Although Basquiat did not see himself as an activist, this paper argues that messages in his art attacked cultural appropriations by mainstream society as well as the struggles of black and Latino communities. Specifically, works entitled, “Irony of a Negro Policeman” (1981) and “Defacement (Death of Michael Stewart)” (1983) addressed the issues of racial and social inequality for these same groups. Looking at Basquiat’s work against laws and police practices of the 1980s, such as racial profiling and “stop and frisk,” one finds that his art has become even more relevant today.

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Wednesday April 26, 2017 1:00pm - 1:20pm
237 Owen Hall

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