Gabrielle Manzello

Diary of Basquiat

Class of: 2024

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Mixed media (oil pastel, spray paint, marker on Bristol)

Faculty: Lynn Breslin

Prompt: For this assignment, we were asked to take on the voice of an artist through a journal. With illustrations in studio and text entries in seminar, our main objective is to tell the narrative of our chosen artist during a specific time period and movement in art.

I chose to focus on Basquiat and his progression as an emerging artist in the 1980s. This book is meant to capture a time in our chosen artist’s life, as well as a time in history. While mapping out Basquiat’s struggles and successes, I also included historical context related to New York during this time, a time of emerging art and culture. My intention for the journal was to create a disheveled notebook, insinuating that the book has gone through Basquiat’s journey with him.

My main mediums for the journal were oil pastel and marker. I used pastels to create a crayon-like texture which is commonly seen in Basquiat’s work and marker to create solid graphic features. The project as a whole prompted me to turn a research-based assignment into a creative project. Taking the perspective of the artist and attempting to fill their shoes through both drawing and text created more of an attachment to the artist I was studying.