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Jean-Michel Basquiat

Real Dollars & Gold Leaves

Tel Aviv, July 2021

Acrylic on Canvas [100cm x 100cm]

The character is painted on real Dollars with gold leaves.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988) was an American artist. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he rose to success during the 1980s as part of the Neo-expressionism movement.

Basquiat became famous in the early 1980s, when the idea that artists were supposed to be commercial innocents fell apart for good, and when the idea of the “art star”— a funnily abbreviated inversion, if you think about it, of starving artist—first came into vogue. In 1985, The New York Times Magazine ran a cover story on Basquiat, titled “New Art, New Money.” Its tone was both awed and suspicious, with constant references to a hot, possibly gullible, market in contemporary art. His work was said to be selling “at a brisk pace—so brisk, some observers joked, that the paint was barely dry,” and Basquiat himself was quoted as worrying he had become a “gallery mascot.” Whatever else was true, as the art historian Jordana Moore Saggese has said since, “this was not the starving artist the public was accustomed to seeing.”

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