Hollywood Africans in Front of the Chinese Theater

“Hollywood Africans in front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars” by Jean-Michel Basquiat

The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat is pleased to announce the release of a new Basquiat screenprint, now available at Guy hepner, Hollywood Africans in front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars, published by Flatiron Editions. The release marks the first edition authorized by the estate since 2005.

The edition of 60, which is related to the widely known 1983 artwork Hollywood Africans, owned by the Whitney Museum of American Art, depicts Basquiat with friends, the artists Toxic and Rammellzee. The subject of the work memorializes a time when all three artists were in Los Angeles during Basquiat’s second exhibition at the Larry Gagosian Gallery. The work, a commentary on the stereotyping and marginalizing of African Americans in the entertainment industry, led them to coin the term and refer to themselves as the “Hollywood Africans.”

Equal parts poet and painter, Basquiat challenged the art world binary of high and low, merging European and “primitive” through a neo-expressionist, painterly style that is nearly impossible to categorize. The posthumous release is stamped and signed by Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, the artist’s sisters and administrators of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

About Jean Michel Basquiat:

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a Neo-Expressionist painter in the 1980s. He is best known for his primitive style and his collaboration with pop artist Andy Warhol. Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. He first attracted attention for his graffiti under the name “SAMO” in New York City.

With a Haitian-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, Basquiat’s diverse cultural heritage was one of his many sources of inspiration.A self-taught artist, Basquiat began drawing at an early age on sheets of paper his father, an accountant, brought home from the office. As he delved deeper into his creative side, his mother strongly encouraged to pursue artistic talents.

Basquiat first began working with a close friend, he tagged subway trains and Manhattan buildings with cryptic aphorisms.In 1977, Basquiat quit high school a year before he was slated to graduate. To make ends meet, he sold sweatshirts and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets of his native New York.

Three years of struggle gave way to fame in 1980, when his work was featured in a group show. His work and style received critical acclaim for the fusion of words, symbols, stick figures, and animals. Soon, his paintings came to be adored by an art loving public that had no problem paying as much as $50,000 for a Basquiat original.

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