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At Long Last: Basquiat

Behold the warrior-king
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Published

Mar 12, 2019

Featured artists

Jean-Michel Basquiat

In this series, the curatorial team presents one work from the Meural art library we find essential. (See all installments.)

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WarriorJean-Michel Basquiat
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Since I’ve been heading Meural’s curatorial team—3 years now—I’ve wanted to bring our community the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Today is the day I’ve been waiting for.

Behold the warrior-king. With his sun-kissed crown and raised sword, he’s ready for battle, ready to lead.

Warrior is my favorite piece from our new, exclusive Basquiat collection. It’s a painting by an artist at the height of his powers—both purposefully crude and mischievously complex. The electric blue background and flashes of yellow provide a sense of energy and heat. The hero’s figure—formed by a confident line of spray paint, evoking the spontaneity of Basquiat’s early graffiti—is layered with references to everything from African art to Picasso. It even reminds me of a traditional Renaissance painting of a courtly knight.

As a teenager, Basquiat signed his graffiti with the tag SAMO—‘same old shit’. Warrior is anything but.

Poppy Simpson, Head of Curation

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Featured Works

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