‘He was aware of racist pigeonholes’: how Basquiat took inspiration from jazz, hip-hop and no wave

‘He was aware of racist pigeonholes’: how Basquiat took inspiration from jazz, hip-hop and no wave

Before Jean-Michel Basquiat became one of the leading art stars of the 1980s, he was a kid from Brooklyn thriving in the music and art scenes of downtown New York in the late 1970s. “Everyone was coexisting together, musicians and artists,” says Ed Patuto, the producer of Time Decorated: The Musical Influences of Jean-Michel Basquiat, three short films that explore the artist’s relationship to bebop, no wave, and hip-hop. “You would go to a gallery, see a show, end up at [legendary East Village club] the Pyramid. Moving between platforms and genres was what people did.” Time Decorated takes a trip through Basquiat’s musical influences and adventures from hip-hop to jazz and back again. The three films are helmed by the rapper, musician and producer Terrace Martin, the Afro-Punk director James Spooner and Dr Todd Boyd, a professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. “It’s hard to look at a Basquiat painting and not come to terms with his musical influences,” says Patuto who is also the director for audience engagement at the Broad museum in Los Angeles. The series …
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