Jean-Michel and the Be-Bop Kings aims to introduce young audiences to the legacies of these groundbreaking musicians through the captivating work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and explores what they share in common and how their respective life experiences and the social conditions they navigated shaped their worldview, informed their artistic sensibilities and inspired prolific creative output.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (b.1960-d.1988) ranks among the most compelling painters of the 20th Century. He possessed a deep love and passion for jazz, particularly the be-bop style, and found great inspiration in the creative achievements of the genre’s great masters, often paying homage by depicting them in his paintings as noblemen, kings and heroes. Not unlike the music of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie and other architects of modern jazz, Basquiat’s work possesses visceral intensity, humor, spontaneity, fire and grit.
Appropriate for students in Grades 4-12