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Art and Society in Jean-michel Basquiat and Keith Haring' Works

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring both used distinctive language and techniques for visual effect to communicate ideas while developing connections between art and society in their practices, as they create and show how society is through their many different artworks. Haring and Basquiat would do this by creating art in very public areas like subways and main roads throughout New York, Sydney Australia, and France to have a bigger impact and audience on their artworks and show society how they act through their public artworks.

Keith Haring was an American graffiti and pop artist known for creating his art in the New York subway, turning the new york subway into his first stage of creating art, making it his own personal canvas. He fell in love with drawing and creating things at a very young age, he was very influenced by the cartoon art created by walt disney, later creating a basis for some of the art he would make in his future works. After graduating high school Keith attended a school of professional art in Pittsburgh where he then began to study commercial art. Keith would then drop out after only 2 semesters after deciding to take his career in a different direction moving to New York City in 1978 where he would study painting and begin his infamous career by creating art through subways and murals all around the world.

Keith Haring started his work along the subways throughout New York while expressing social activism creating the grounds and basis for most of his artworks. Haring would use the black empty advertising panels along subway walls to create his own artwork, he would use white chalk to fill the panels. Some of his iconic drawings created during this time were dancing figures and a radiant baby that would reflect rays of white chalk around it. Haring would develop the connection between art and society in his practise with artworks such as ‘A Pile of Crowns for Jean-Michel Basquiat’, created in 1988, this artwork was made by haring to pay tribute to another artist, Jean Michel Basquiat after he passed away earlier in that year. The artwork can be seen as a testament showing how both haring and basquiat used the repetition of symbols to convey meaning. Basquiat was highly acknowledged within society, and for Keith Haring to relate his art to him suggests that he had respected and agreed with his views including the views between art and society that they had both shared in their practise

Haring would also develop his connections between art and society in his practice, transmitting political ideas through symbols with artworks like ‘Haring’s Prophets of Rage’ that was created in 1988, it demonstrates Harings mastery of communicating his political ideas in his artworks as he expresses anger to the aids crisis in this artwork from isolating the body parts. This artwork also depicts the racism, as during this time in South Africa the Apartheid existed and was a system of racial segregation, it can be shown as the death of the white suppressor is in the artwork and the broken chains of the black man, this just shows how haring would deeply convey and express his political ideas and stance throughout his art and how he would develop connection between art and society in his practice. “I am intrigued with the shapes people choose as their symbols to create a language.” In this quote from Haring the use of language could mean anything from symbolism to conveying society in art, as he is intrigued with the way people use symbols to share their message in artworks.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of America’s most charismatic painters, Basquiat spent his childhood creating art, he never went to art school but drew his own art inspired by random objects and even places around him. He would read books on anatomy when he was young creating a major influence and basis for his artworks to come in the future. Basquiate would use cut up techniques to form some of his materials as well as, oil sticks, crayons, spray paint and pencils with even the use of harsh black outlining. Despite basquiat’s mainstream audience he insisted on depicting challenging themes of identity and oppression.

Basquiat would develop his connections between art and society in his practise, with famous created art such as ‘Irony of a Negro Policeman’ created in 1981. This artwork depicts how it was quite ironic that a black man could be a police officer while the laws were put on the black man in the first place. Basquiat would use artworks like this to convey his message better he also uses this artwork to symbolise a cage on the policeman’s hat showing how black people have been confined in society with also the displaced body parts on the policeman showing how black people have been displaced in society, this is a major example of how Basquiet connects art and society throughout his practise and how his art can really impact and make a say on society and their actions “I don’t think about art when i’m working. I try to think about life.” Basquiat says this as he is truly thinking about life when creating art and how life can be one of main connections throughout his artworks, life in this sense could easily relate to society, as the message he is showing us in his artwork highly relates to society.

Baquiat had never finished high school but developed an appreciation to art at a young age, he quickly rose to fame in the early 1980s and unfortunately his drug addiction had lead to his tragic death which was from a heroin overdose in 1988 in new york, but during basquiates time alive another artwork he had used to convey connection between art and society in his practise was with an amazing piece called ‘Obnoxious Liberals’ created in 1982 he had spray painted crowns and scribbled words that would reference everything from his porterican heritage to political issues, In the middle is a man labelled with obnoxious liberals and a for sale sign which represents basquiat and his works, this artwork is also seen to only have three colors, blue, red, and white, which may well represent the American flag, and the American flag represents bravery, justice, and vigilance, something that was not seen during basquiat’s years with the oppression he would face in his everyday life.

Conclusion

Both Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat had strengthened and developed their connections between art and society in their practice, Basquiat did it through relating his art to political and social issues, relating to African Americans and their confinement within society. Haring did it through being a social activist towards sex related and social issues, such as drugs and AIDS.

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Art And Society In Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring’ Works. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/art-and-society-in-jean-michel-basquiat-and-keith-haring-works/
“Art And Society In Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring’ Works.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/art-and-society-in-jean-michel-basquiat-and-keith-haring-works/
Art And Society In Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring’ Works. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/art-and-society-in-jean-michel-basquiat-and-keith-haring-works/> [Accessed 9 Dec. 2022].
Art And Society In Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring’ Works [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 24 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/art-and-society-in-jean-michel-basquiat-and-keith-haring-works/
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