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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: July 12, 2000
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On Basquiat's Arroz con Pollo

This Pass? or Prepared? is based on Jean-Michel Basquiat, an African American artist whose work I would like you to know. Link to Mark Harden's Artchive Then link to Jean-Michel Basquiat in the leftmost frame. Link on View images. Scroll a little more than halfway down to locate the images, and link on Arroz con Pollo. Link on image viewer and once it loads, link on Fit height in the menu bar. That will let you see the whole painting at once. Experiment then with different sizes of the image.

Also try reading the essay from American Visions that immediately follows the View Image List link. I have a wonderful volume of works on paper by Basquiat, which I think will help me explain my fascination with his work. We'll schedule it for a discussion. Meanwhile, I hope this Pass? or Prepared? will help us understand.

On July 12, 2000. Valencia Ross wrote:

Hello, Jeanne, this is Valencia. I just viewed the painting Arroz Con Pollo.  I need more time to think about my reaction to the painting, however it is very interesting.  Where is the rice, because I am very aware of the chicken.

On July 12, jeanne answered:

Hi, Valencia. I don't have a hot clue as to where the rice is. But I, too, am aware of the chicken. Donna Maria Woods, where are you when we need you in this conversation? Remember that this is not an art class; but a class in which we speak of aesthetics as a means of learning and expressing social theory. That 's why it matters how we feel about the painting, whether we have a clue as to what the artist "meant" or not. Valencia, remember how Jacob Lawrence's painting on Dreaming led you to think of your dreams of going dancing? This has to do with how painting can pull out memories from our apperceptive mass. That's what Marcel Proust wrote about in Remembrance of Times Past. More on this later. . . .



Answer the following questions on the basis of Robert Hughes' essay. Click on any number for jeanne's answer.

1. Why do you suppose Hughes' suggests that "the market" likes a dead hot young artist?

One plausible answer.

1. Robert Hughes says: "The only thing the market liked better than a hot young artist was a dead hot young artist, and it got one in Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose working life of about nine years was truncated by a heroin overdose at the age of twenty-seven." I suspect that what he means by this is that once the artist is dead, the "oeuvre" is finished. That means scarcity. There can be no more paintings by that artist. That limits supply and drives up the price of his work, if he was in fact "hot."

From American Visions by Robert Hughes, (April 1997) Knopf; ISBN: 0679426272

2. Compare the work of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Which was a trained artist? Which was closer to the "graffiti" movement?

2. "Basquiat's career was incubated by the short-lived graffiti movement, which started on the streets and subway cars in the early 1970s, peaked, fell out of view, began all over again in the 1980s, peaked again, and finally receded, leaving Basquiat and the amusingly facile Keith Haring as its only memorable exponents."

From American Visions by Robert Hughes, (April 1997) Knopf; ISBN: 0679426272



Lagniappe

Play the Devil
Fascinating Web modification that you can move. Touch the image with your mouse and drag to the left or the right.