Bridging the gap between the fine and the less refined

The Resurgence of 80’s Art

Fab 5 Freddy, Shepard Fairey==
NOWNESS Presents the New York Premiere of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child.==
MoMa, NYC==
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010==
Photo - J.T. White/PatrickMcMullan.com==

I can personally say that my fascination with modern art with an emphasis on 80’s art comes from a more formal, classroom introduction to modern art. As of late though, I have noticed that I am not the only one with an interest in this era of art. This curiosity can especially be found in urban culture.

Ranging from references to Basquiat on the “Watch the Throne” album to Swizz Beats teaming up with Reebok to create a line inspired by Basquiat. You can watch a video of Swizz art shopping below.

Uh, Picasso was alive he woulda made her
That’s right nigga Mona Lisa can’t fade her
I mean Marilyn Monroe, she’s quite nice
But why all the pretty icons always all white?
Put some colored girls in the MoMA

-Jay-Z

(for a more detailed list of Basquiat references, you can check this VERY well down list but complex.com here)

But where did all this come from?! Here’s my theory: The musicians that are now making the music we listen to grew up in the 80’s at the height of street art in NY. So what they are doing now is glorifying their heroes. The same way they recently put 90’s Nick shows back on TV because the kids that watching those shows are now in their 20’s, these musicians are bringing back the influences that raised them.

All of this makes me incredibly happy because it is a great example that the heroes of OUR generation draw from a diverse group for inspiration. They are not these one dimensional figures. It also shows that hip-hop/music are not the only things that come from the street but it also brings us this beautiful art that now in the realm of artistic academia. You can conclude the same thing with hip-hop. Originally music critics thought that the genre of hip-hop was just a phase and wouldn’t last but now these hip-hop pioneers are being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

May this be a trend that continues.

Basquiat/Haring by Shepard Fairey

One response

  1. an amazing film! Tamara Davies the wiffe of Mike D. from the Beastie Boys was the director of this film and she did a few interviews which are also featured in the film. love this film also like julian Schnabel’s dramatic adaptation of the life of Jean Michel Basquiat.

    April 16, 2012 at 12:55 am

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