Jean-Michel Basquiat: painting history

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Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the best known artists of the 1980s, but his sensational fame and the record-making auction prices of his work distract from the cultural and historical value of his art. This talk explores Basquiat as a history painter, an artist who documents our shared histories. We will look at Basquiat’s art and how it records and interprets Black history in the US in all of its complexities from jazz to film, colonization to police brutality.



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SKU: Jean-Michel Basquiat Categories: Global debates, Visual art


Speaker: Sarah Jaffray

Sarah Jaffray holds a BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in 19th/20th century France and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London in 2012. She has worked in curatorial roles at the British Museum and Wellcome Collection. Sarah is currently a lecturer at the University of Arts London and Coordinator for City Lit’s Art History programme. Her art historical practice focuses on experimental narratives, artistic process, art pedagogy, politics and philosophy. Sarah’s current research is focused on translation and empathy.

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