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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Without Anger

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A blog post that disputes the commonly held notion that Jean-Michel Basquiat was an "angry" artist.

"This designation is partly due to a 1983 interview with Henry Geldzahler where Basquiat described his work as being 80% about anger. But as a descriptor, 'anger' fails to explain the manifold conditions of art-making… You have to be determined, not angry, to produce anything close to the variation and quality of Basquiat’s work… in Basquiat’s work… I see a painter who raises questions while allowing his work to be open and infinite at the same time. In [La Jara] ] we are looking at a white police officer who is comic and vile. He is an everyday-life kind of beast and a beast made to fit the scale and ambition of painting."

Jean-Michel Basquiat was recently on view at Gagosian Gallery, New York.

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