Jean-Michel Basquiat

Did you know that many world-famous artists did not have a full-fledged art education? What could unite such different artists as Paul Cezanne, Francis Bacon, Frida Kahlo, Henri Rousseau, Marc Utrillo, Maurice de Vlaminck, Niko Pirosmani, and Vincent Van Gogh? One era, territory, or maybe a painting style? Not at all. For completely different reasons, they were unable to learn the basics of drawing.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

Famous self-taught artists (Part1)
Jean-Michel Basquiat. Give me a riddle, Batman., 1987

Jean-Michel Basquiat is an artist whose success was accompanied by drug addiction. Dreaming of being heard, in his work, he touched on the pressing problems of his time. He was internationally recognized as the author of powerful and expressive works that confront the viewer head-on with racism and social inequality. Unique in every sense, Jean Michel Basquiat painted on every surface that was in front of him. He had unrealistic productivity. In three weeks, he could draw 20 works.

The son of a Tahitian and Puerto Rican, he gave art a new life and became the first black Western artist to show contemporary art to the whole world. His successful career, accompanied by a lack of formal education, changed the idea of ​​the figure of the artist. In his work, Basquiat combined the history of art, street culture, and personal experience in one canvas.

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)

Famous self-taught artists (Part1)
Frida Kahlo, The two Fridas, 1939

Kahlo, from an early age, was fond of art, receiving drawing lessons from a friend of her father, a photographer, printer Fernando Fernandez. In 1925, she began working to help her family financially. After a short period of work as a stenographer, Fernando gave her a paid position as his engraving student. He was impressed by her talent, although at that time, she did not see art as a career.

She never thought seriously about painting, right up to the accident that happened in 1926. Recovering from a terrible bus accident, Kahlo began to paint self-portraits on an easel, which was fixed above her bed. For Kahlo, painting became a way of exploring issues of self- identity.

Her early works show the influence of European masters, in particular Renaissance masters such as Sandro Botticelli and Bronzino, as well as the influence of avant-garde movements such as surrealism.

Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)

Famous self-taught artists (Part1)
Henri Rousseau, The Dream,1910

He worked at the Paris Customs Service for more than 20 years. That is why he got the nickname Le Douanier (Customs Officer). The reason why he decided to do painting at the age of about 40 remains unclear. Perhaps he just wanted to pass the boring days he spent at work.

By the age of 49, Henri Rousseau decides to retire to paint. In 1884, he received a license to make copies of paintings in the Louvre. Rousseau claimed that he has no teacher other than nature. Although he admitted that he received some advice from two renowned academic artists Félix Auguste Clément and Jean-Léon Gérôme.

At the end of his life, the artist exhibited along with Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Henri Matisse.

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