Beginning his artistic career as an illegal graffiti artist, Titian by Jean-Michel Basquiat has the same haphazard structure common in graffiti-style sketches and drawings, along with his rebellious individualism to rip apart common ideals and put them back together again. Basquiat was also fascinated with the way chemical compounds could be deconstruction into the sum of their parts, and Titian by Jean-Michel Basquiat echoes this same theme of taking apart not just Titian's famous Venus work, but also dividing up the physical body of the artist himself into teeth, spleen and bones.
Basquiat was born and raised in New York during the 1960s, and his artwork reflects the noise and chaos of the city, with Basquiat constantly inspired by everyday objects around him, giving many of his artworks a scrawled, almost rushed appearance. Titian by Jean-Michel Basquiat has this same quality, with many of the artist's ideas crossed out as part of the work, without being fully drawn over or erased. Basquiat quickly rose to fame at the start of the early 1980s, his neo-expressionist works combing a stream of consciousness way of working that delighted celebrities, who saw his works as instantly trendy and new wave, a consummate artist who was without clear definition or boundaries, both in his professional and personal life.
By 1983 when Titian by Jean-Michel Basquiat was drawn, Basquiat was already headlining his own exhibitions alongside other big name artists of the time such as Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys. Basquiat was still only 22 at the time he drew Titian, showing a natural talent that belied his years. Throughout his short career, Basquiat travelled throughout Europe and Asia, and his understanding of other artists as well as a slightly anachronistic attitude to fame also feature in Titian, where the artist seems to show either himself or Titian scrawling a crossword at the side of the page under the headline 'World Famous'. A crazed head, with wide eyes and a gaping mouth, is drawn above this, with the word 'Schizophrenic' just legible. Basquiat struggled with mental health issues throughout his life, and this too is often reflected in the chaotic nature of his works, which nevertheless remain completely immersive and inspiring. Titian by Jean-Michel Basquiat is currently exhibited in the Daros Collection, Zürich, Switzerland.