Basquiat by Himself
Dieter Buchhart, Anna Karina Hofbauer
Hirmer Verlag, 2019
The present publication is dedicated to the expressive self-portraits by Jean-Michel Basquiat and covers his lifelong intensive study of the self. In Basquiat’s œuvre the self-portrait, one of the major subjects of art history, occupies a central position that has not been examined to date.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s self-portraits are regarded as being among the most important of his radical creative works. In addition to some 50 specific portraits of himself, we can also see his series of likenesses of African-American men as concealed reproductions of the artist. Not least because Basquiat, who was affected himself by everyday racism, identified with his heroes, saints and martyrs as he portrayed them. Thus his major topics from identity, discrimination and prejudice to capitalism, the market and oppression are all to be found in these key works.