Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans: a complex history lesson

By Skye Sherwin

Through a mix of street art and ab-ex stylistic tics – and references to slavery and Hattie McDaniel – the late artist attacks the lack of film roles for black talent

Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s painting is both an indictment and a statement of intent. Against shouty yellow, words scratched in his blocky, spiky writing denote racial stereotypes. “Paw paw”, painted across an image of the artist's hand, is a particularly sharp verbal/visual pun. It seems to point up the obscene view of black people as animals.

…read more

Source: Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans: a complex history lesson