I spent this chapter googling all the artworks mentioned and consistently being amazed at both the subject matter and rendering.  They all are uniquely eye-catching and certainly encompassed the lingering effect of art that has “touched our spirit.”  This post is so hard, not because material was necessarily challenging to understand, but because there was so much great material brought up in the chapter it is hard to choose one area to focus on.

In comparison with say Picasso and others of the Modernist I found it fascinating that Basquiat willingly claimed the influence of white culture in his works.  Which is incredibly fascinating and the way hook presented it seemed like Basquiat was making a direct commentary on white artists and culture as a whole.  From previous readings we know that white artists would not claim the black influence in their works.  Yet, Basquiat claimed white influence ‘that announced an “undiscovered genius of the Mississippi delta” in a very deliberate way to show how ludicrous it was for whites to “discover” black culture and images.  Going forward how can we provide commentaries on primitivism  while putting into value both the innovation that white Western art experienced because of it, while also keeping the idea that this art was new only for the West?  I think so often we try to separate cultures and put art into one or the other, but in many of Basquiat’s works he puts them side by, both forever influencing each other.

image: https://www.wikiart.org/en/jean-michel-basquiat/maid-from-olympia

Katelyn Kiner – Hope College – 2017


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