In the beginning I didn't get it. I didn't get his work at all. I am ashamed to admit that I judged it as if I am some sort of art know-it-all whose opinion really makes or breaks the art industry (which we all know, it sooo does not). I just sat and stared in disbelief as this guy walked into New York, became Andy Warhol's B.F.F. and basically became an overnight success for making (what I thought at first) paintings that my 5 year old niece could make.
And then, sort of all-at-once, it clicked. This guy was a genius (a genius on and off of drugs but a genius nonetheless). He had a dream and new exactly how to carry it out. While most people sit on their cabooses wondering when fame will find them, he went out and chased fame, stared fame in the face and refused to back down until he got what he wanted. Granted, painting was all he knew how to do, but still. The man was not a coward. He did not let fear run him out of town, he did not let negative self talk ruin his self-confidence and he did not waste time doing anything other than what he loved.
What does that have to do with his art? Fearless as he was in life, he was in art. He took chances, he was personable and people found these qualities admirable. People couldn't resist him and so, they couldn't resist his art.
By the end of the movie I had found an artist who inspired me (tragic life and drug use aside). He inspired me to let go, to try not to take myself or my art too seriously and to fight for my dream.
In this crazy world, one should soak up all the motivation and inspiration that he/she can find. Thanks to Jean-Michel Basquiat, my motivation has now been recharged.
I cannot stop thinking about this movie. If you haven't watched this documentary yet, I highly recommend that you do. Artist or not, it will fascinate you.