Jean-Michel Basquiat

10 Great Songs About Famous Visual Artists

Even reigning glam aliens have idols. Even top hip hop impresarios obsess over that one particular painting. There is no shortage of guitar strumming, rapping, and singing about art at large, but we’re keen on odes and tributes to specific heroes of art history. From David Bowie’s serenade to “Andy Warhol” to the Modern Lovers’ investigations into “Pablo Picasso” and why he “never got called an asshole,” here are a few notable tracks inspired by famous visual artists. Did we miss your favorite? Drop us a comment. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. “I think there are some ages, like the one we’re living in, when the game is kind of rigged towards products that contain music – sort of like those cheap drinks you get in a bad supermarket where it says, ‘Contains 10% juice.'” – Record Store Day 2012 ambassador Iggy Pop reflects… Read More

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10 Famous Artists' Fascinating Alter-Egos

Attention and behold: Marcel Duchamp… as a lady! Or, not exactly. This is more than just a giddy Surrealist in a pretty hat and a little rouge. This is Rrose Sélavy, Duchamp’s alter-ego with her own look, her own mind, even her own body of work. Sometimes artists create more than paintings and sculptures — they create people. They form whole other identities, personas. Let’s meet classic alter-egos from art history and contemporary performance practice. Be warned: Gender-bending, age-regression, metamorphosing, and dimension-crossing may occur. … Read More

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Required Viewing: Essential Documentaries About Famous Artists

We’re happy if our previous roundup of feature films about artists inspired or rejuvenated any of your artistic or bohemian impulses. That said, pull up a chair. Let’s get real. Here you will find some of our favorite documentaries about artists, many of them current and some even freshly made. Dig out the heart of Louise Bourgeois’ gigantic spiders. Go behind Pablo Picasso’s brushstrokes. Wonder eternally if Banksy’s fooling you. Rebels, superstars, activists, eccentrics, con artists — they’re all here and they’re ready to tell you their story. … Read More

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Watch a Gloriously Awkward 1983 Interview with Jean-Michel Basquiat

Rarely has the chasm between the art establishment and a young artist been more amply demonstrated that by a 1983 interview between NYU art history professor Dr. Marc H. Miller and Jean-Michel Basquiat that surfaced on YouTube recently. The interview was apparently conducted at Basquiat’s Soho studio, “shortly after Jean-Michel woke for the day,” and while Miller is clearly well-intentioned and fascinated by the artist’s work, the two clearly also have pretty much zero in common. This makes for an interview that’s frequently awkward (like when Miller asks, “[Were there] Haitian primitives on your wall [as a child]?”, and Basquiat replies, “You mean people?!”), but also fascinating, with plenty of insight into Basquiat’s childhood and his techniques. Watch the video after the jump. … Read More

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20 Amazing Artist-Inspired Tattoos

[Editor's note: While your Flavorwire editors take a much-needed holiday break, we're revisiting some of our most popular features of the year. This post was originally published February 16, 2011.] If we’re being honest, most of us will never own a work of art by a famous artist. And while back in college, it might have been okay to pay homage to one of the greats with a poster print from the museum, these days when it comes to the artwork that hangs on our walls, we tend to opt for original pieces by emerging (read: more affordable) talents. A few enterprising souls have found a way to sidestep the issue completely by displaying famous works of art directly on their bodies. Click through for some of our favorite examples, and if you happen to have an art-inspired tattoo, be sure to tell us about it in the comments. … Read More

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Happy Birthday Basquiat: 10 Memorable Movies About Artists

There’s something about artists that makes them compelling biopic subjects, especially if there’s something sexy, traumatic, Bohemian and otherwise scandalous about their personal life. In honor of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s birthday — he would have been 51 today — we present a few recommendations, just to get you started. Here you will find those dramatic details artfully exploited on celluloid with various degrees of salaciousness and, we hope, some valuable background on Bacon’s, Van Gogh’s, and Kahlo’s actual artistic careers. First up? The birthday boy himself. … Read More

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10 Epic Artist x Musician Collaborations

When established artists decided to lend their talent to the music world, the creations that result from the collision of egos and imaginations are often mind blowing. From Pablo Picasso’s costumes for an avant garde ballet by Erik Satie to Andy Warhol’s management of the Velvet Underground, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite artist and musician collaborations. How did Salvador Dalí and Alice Cooper meet? How did the world survive? Read on to find out and drop us a comment if you think we missed any biggies. … Read More

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Vintage Shots of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s SAMO© Graffiti

At the end of the ’70s, as New York City’s Soho transformed from an ethnic factory district to the art hub of the elite, the graffiti collective SAMO© — made up of an anonymous teenage Jean-Michel Basquiat, his high school friend/graff veteran Al Diaz, and artist Shannon Dawson — began its contrarian poeticisms. Basquiat was the driving force. SAMO© was “the drug,” the abstract, sarcastic, witty, site-specific prose poetry exhibit via vandalism, a “spiritual salvation” from the “so-called avant-garde had become a formidable, lucrative, orthodox institution,” as photographer Henry Flynt explains in his thorough essay. Documenting the tags in 1979, Flynt could not predict Basquiat’s eventual fame, yet, he understood the right way to photograph “the experience” of reading SAMO© — not just capturing the truncated text element, but its urban placement in full color. Spotted by The World’s Best Ever, check out these authenticated vintage shots in our gallery. … Read More

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Art on Film: A Look at Iconic Artworks in Movies

These are not just pictures on a wall. These are not some set pieces in the corner. There are certain artworks in film that are as vital as its characters. Of course, it helps when a character happens to bludgeon someone to death with a certain rude-shaped sculpture or a painting casts an evil spell of eternal youth on a heartless protagonist. Whether it’s famous artists creating work for fictional ones or directors commissioning well-crafted fakes to take the place of what they can’t acquire, most of these memorable artworks come with a little background story. Here are ten (mostly) great films and the tales of origin behind their most central art pieces. … Read More

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