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Her Majesty Queen Máxima opens the European premiere exhibition of Basquiat in Heerlen

On January 31, Her Majesty Queen Maxima opened the European premiere exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat in Heerlen in SCHUNCK museum entitled: Basquiat, The Artist and His New York Scene.

Queen Máxima was accompanied by Mayor Emile Roemer, Governor of Limburg region Theo Bovens and Kor Bonnema (director of SCHUNCK). Curators Cynthia Jordens and Fabian de Kloe guided the Queen through the exhibition together with three youth ambassadors from the SCHUNCK Drivers Seat group. Queen Maxima watched presentations of various educational projects that were set up by SCHUNCK around the exhibition such as the breakdance Buurtbattle performance, a fashion show of the 100% Basquiat costumes and she listened to poetry prepared by the students of the Parkstad Free School. Theo Bovens said: ‘Her Majesty Queen Máxima showed great interest in the work of Basquiat during her visit. The educational projects around the exhibition also particularly appealed to her. ‘


The exhibition tells the story of the work and life of the young Basquiat and contemporaries from his period in New York between 1978 and 1982. This narrative is presented via more than 300 works of art , including the exhibition Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980, composed by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Denver, poetic graffit texts, large canvas, clothes and documentaries.
The Exhibition is open from February 2 till June 2019.

 Basquiat, underground graffiti artist, painter, star

Works of Basquiat belong to the most expensive in the world. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting Untitled (LA Painting) sold for $110.5 million (£85m) at Sotheby’s in New York, was the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction.

Basquiat was the first Afro-American painter who became world famous. In his work references to racial tensions can be found, but Basquiat himself did not want to be a black painter, but a famous artist.

Jean- Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960 in Brooklyn to a middle-class family and he died on August 12, 1988, of a heroine overdose. He was 27 years old. Jean-Michel Basquiat’ s father Gérard Basquiat, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and his mother, Matilde Basquiat, who was of Puerto Rican descent, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

In a short span of his life he managed to become from an underground graffiti artist a painter, challenging various styles exceptional artist and a star of the modern art.

His works, transformation and Andy Warhol

Jean-Michel Basquiat at the beginning of his artistic career formed part of SAMO, a political–poetical graffiti duo with his friend Al Diaz. They wrote in the late 70s enigmatic epigrams in the popular among hip hop, post-punk, street artists Lower East Side of Manhattan. Basquiat often incorporated words into his paintings and produced punk-inspired postcards for sale on the street. He used to draw on various surfaces and objects and his paintings were mostly covered with text, words, letters, pictograms, diagrams, etc.

Later in the 1980s his neo-expressionist paintings were presented in international museums and galleries.From 1982-1985 he created multi-panel paintings and individual canvases with exposed stretcher bars covered with collage and text.  Between 1984-1985 he cooperated with Any Warhol and they created joint shows, which were not received very well by critics.

Basquiat is famous for his  “suggestive dichotomies”, such as integration vs segregation, wealth vs poverty, and for…

Most famous lover

His best-known lover was Madonna. At the end of 1982 Madonna stayed with Basquiat for several months at art dealer Larry Gagosian in Los Angeles. Madonna put an end to the relationship. She was fanatic about fitness and health food, Basquiat consumed for $ 500 a day in drugs and rarely woke up before five o’clock in the afternoon.That combination did not work, she told the British newspaper The Guardian four years later. When she heard in 1988 that her ex had died, the singer was not surprised. “Jean-Michel was too fragile for this world.”


See film impression from the Denver exposition here:

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