‘9-TO-5, WENT TO COLLEGE, NOT 2-NITE HOMEY BLUES’
Jazz and the American mundane in Jean-Michel Basquiat’s writing
Keywords:Jean-Michel Basquiat, Charlie Parker, jazz music, Beat literature, bebop
This article looks at the influence of jazz music-specifically bebop-in Jean-Michel Basquiat's use of the written word, arguing that the artist incorporates improvisation and dynamic rhythms to build a fragmentary stream of the everyday across his canvas. Looking towards Basquiat's graffiti, paintings and notebooks, this article will read Basquiat's works as jazz texts that rewrite the everyday, protest against social barriers, and reveal beauty in the mundane. This article will contextualize the musical and literary influences referenced across Basquiat's work, as well as the techniques he took from such influencers and used on the canvas. By positioning Basquiat within a literary canon, this article will also consider how the multi-formality of jazz enabled Basquiat to create works that were literary, musical, and painterly at once.
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