P.S. Jean-Michel Basquiat's Jazz Notes
"MY MOUTH / THEREFORE AN ERROR"
If, in the 1980s, you had walked into Jean-Michel Basquiat’s studio on 57 Great Jones Street, you would have heard music. There was always something playing—chosen from Jean-Michel’s impressive collection of over 3,000 records.
Before he could afford his own studio, Basquiat worked in the basement of Annina Nosei’s gallery. And he always had music on. She remembers, “It drove me crazy!”1 But music was integral to his life, and it was integral to his art.
Jean-Michel grew up listening to his father’s jazz records. “There was always, always music at home” Gerard Basquiat recalled:
As a child [Jean-Michel] used to draw on the coffee table, or on the floor while I played my jazz and read. For him the ear would be listening to music and the hand would be making art.2
So, let’s explore how jazz —and music in general— influenced Basquiat’s life and, by extension, his notes and art.
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