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Jean-Michel Basquiat's Language
Saggese, Jordana Moore
Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"In the second chapter I consider the implications of reading race into Jean-Michel Basquiat's production; Basquiat's blackness is an issue not only in the scholarship surrounding these works, but is in the works themselves. The third chapter seeks to describe parallels between the working protocols in Basquiat's compositional methods in painting and drawing to those of jazz. The final chapter examines Basquiat's connections to the literary strategies of the ""Beat"" writers, principally Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, who provided models of spontaneity and collage, and who negotiated identity in ways that Basquiat could not have found exclusively in his visual sources. Throughout this dissertation I argue that Basquiat's works are ""multivocal"" and operate on multiple levels of reference and perception; therefore, the words or images on the surfaces do not represent only one specific concept. They generate a multiplicity of ideas."