Basquiat inspired collage

Are you familiar with the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat? He was a Black, Latinx, and American graffiti and Neo-expressionism painter who created over 600 paintings and 1500 drawings in his short career as an artist (he died at the age of 27). Basquiat experienced a lot of poverty and when he quickly rose to fame as an artist, experienced a lot of wealth. This theme of polar opposites can be seen in a lot of his work which combines a lot of different styles and techniques - abstraction, text, graffiti, and symbolism.


Check out some of his work below


We decided to create our own Basquiat inspired collages. After noticing one of his artworks was painted on wooden boards (see the top left image) we decided to start with some popsicle sticks. We glued these down on a piece of cardboard and began layering on top. We used whatever we could find in our scraps of art materials.


First we added some base color with oil pastels, then we layered some tissue paper. Next we did some quick, rough sketches with oil pastels on paper and ripped them to add on top. We also used some fabric to write on.


Challenge your young artist to think of opposites, or something that is important to them. What words come to mind? This can help them come up with ideas for words to add.


We wanted to finish our pieces with some abstract lines and decided to use some puff paint to give it a little extra texture.

The best part of this project is that anything goes. Turn on some music and don't think too much about the outcome. Focus on the process and layer whatever inspires you.

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