Analysis of Jean-Michel Basquiat's Artpiece Dustheads

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Analysis of Jean-Michel Basquiat's Artpiece Dustheads essay
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Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Dustheads” is an eye-catching work of art (1982). Just at a first glance, the piece looks as if were made of chalk. The artist uses smooth streaks of acrylic to achieve this look, some areas with a bit of a fade. Lines are used throughout this piece for the viewer’s eye to travel around. Basquiat uses a variety of colors on what is two figures, their faces being the part that is emphasized.

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He uses white as an outline for the bodies, and for the streaks all around the piece. This is what creates the movement; one can look from the left and go all around to the other side. With this piece, there is not so much as a main point. The background is black, however different colors are dominating the piece. The two figures take up a good amount of space, side by side and pops of orange and white surrounding them.

On the faces, Basquiat uses multiple colors for what would be their skin, and outlines their eyes and mouths with black. Both of their facial expressions are wide-eyed and create a sense of alertness. “Dustheads” has no proper organization; that is what makes up the piece. Considering Basquiat’s background, there is no doubt that his mind heavily influenced this piece, and many others. The expressions of the piece are the more important point. The eyes on both figures are dramatically painted. They are portrayed as if they are alert and full of energy. On one of the faces, the mouth is closed. It is as if they are trying to keep themselves calm, despite being attentive. The face on the right, however, has their mouth wide open and is curved into a smile. This one has no point in trying to hide their vibrancy and goes all out.

The figure also has their arms up in the air and their hands opened up. There is a situation that one could be in to look like any of these expressions, that being the mind on drugs. Jean-Michel’s artworks are heavily influenced by the way his mind worked. It was not unknown that he took LSD, and created something in what he felt like his brain was going through. All of his artworks are the same style with emphasized expressions being the main point of the piece. This explains the use of so many colors and random brush strokes scattered around his works. Basquiat felt that his mind had so much going on, he felt like he was all over the place. “Dustheads” (1982) is a very straightforward piece that leads you into his brain.

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The essay offers an analysis of Jean-Michel Basquiat's artwork "Dustheads" (1982), focusing on its visual elements, use of color, composition, and the artist's background. The description of the artwork's appearance, particularly the use of acrylic to create a chalk-like effect and the emphasis on facial features, is well-executed. The essay effectively highlights Basquiat's unique style and approach, attributing his choice of colors and brush strokes to his own mental state and experiences. The analysis of the facial expressions and their potential connection to drug use adds depth to the interpretation. However, the essay could benefit from a clearer connection between the visual elements and the artist's background, as well as a more cohesive exploration of the artwork's impact on viewers.
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What can be improved
Introduction: Begin with a captivating introduction that provides context for the artwork and the artist's significance. Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main focus or argument of the essay in the introduction to guide the reader's understanding. Artistic Influences: Expand on Basquiat's artistic influences and style, considering the broader art movements or trends he may have drawn inspiration from. Connection to Basquiat's Mindset: Elaborate on how Basquiat's personal experiences and mental state influenced his artistic choices and distinctive style. Impact on Viewers: Discuss the potential emotional or intellectual impact "Dustheads" has on viewers, considering how the artist's expressiveness resonates with different audiences. Conclusion: Summarize the key points of the analysis and offer insights into the artwork's enduring significance in the context of Basquiat's body of work and contemporary art.
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