I sit here in the midst of a powerful vision with a quiet violence, almost reverential...and am in awe. The work of Jean Michel Basquiat is now, not gracing but exploding on the walls of the Art Gallery of Ontario. They are painted-scratched-scribbled-collaged-written with a skill only a child could emulate, a child with the eyes of a sensitive reactionary young man, who in the turn encapsulates the wisdom of age.
Jean Michel examines his subjects, racial violence-black leadership-jazz-anatomy- reaches into their guts then tears them open and renders them for all to see. One can hear Bird Parker blowing holes in the night, and Dr. King pleading for America to pay its' debt. He has mastered a painterly manner in his work that has put me in the middle of every piece. Textures of language scratched out to further entice the viewer into query and quandary. His language is clear, and he asks you to examine it with the same diligence as he has done in the making of them
In his short 27 years he has amassed a body of work ruthlessly diverse and extensive in its' scope.His aesthetic signaled the beginning of a new painted world-one that finally escapes the bonds of modernism and its' bastard child post modernism. He has been crowned and has crowned himself master of all he touched. Bang!!!