This month South Bay Hands on Art students will be inspired by the controversial
artist Jean Michel Basquiat (Born: 1960 Died: 1988). After an introduction to the 80s artist who is famed for, among other things, for being Andy Warhol's friend and Madonna's boyfriend, students create a portrait of the artist by using layering techniques with a wide variety of medium such as acrylic paint, oil pastels, gel pens, pencil, gesso and spray paint.
This is a fast, energetic way of creating art which intends to capture emotion rather than creating realistic looking artwork. Words, symbols, colors, scribbles, splashes and drips converge on the paper to create a snapshot of the artists' current emotions. Does it sound complicated? Well, maybe if you over think it. The workshop was lively and fun and the docents produced some great artwork.
Why was Basquiat controversial? Some people didn't think his work was 'art'. Many 'old school' art critics had a hard time understanding neo-expressionism and it's rough handling of materials, but Basquiat cultivated a fan base that included musicians and celebrities who appreciated his personal and expressive works. Basquiat achieved fame at an early age and was one of the first young artists to cross over from his graffiti roots to high-end galleries.
Mrs. Whaley's 4th grade, Tulita students were excited by the wide range of medium available to them during the lesson took very little encouragement to start experimenting. A few students found it difficult to create layers especially when it involved painting over or covering up words or symbols that they really liked, but the end results were, fresh, fun and exciting. This project really opened us all up to a different way of creating.
Thank you Marianne Coble for a great project.
Also a huge 'THANK YOU' to the Beryl docents for the wonderful brunch spread - we really appreciated the variety of hot items and vegetarian too!
Another thank you goes to Sonia Carratala of Kandlegirl Studio (Candles with Drama) and Victoria Pitzele who shared their beautiful handmade candles and fairy light bottles with us.
Did your students enjoy the project? Share your experience in the comments below and post photos and comments on our Facebook page.