Basquiat by Todd Koelmel

“Everyone knows the meteoric rise of Basquiat and his place in the New York art scene throughout the 80s.  He dated Madonna, was friends with Warhol, magazine covers, Debbie Harry – his story and his genius are amazing.  When I was studying his work for this series, I found it tricky to look through my filter.  When creating new work, I always try to boil things down and communicate images and icons as simply and as boldly as I can.  Jean-Michel’s work is the opposite of that – frenetic at times, busy, messy – in a genius kind of way.  It’s nearly impossible to boil down his style.  I felt that to just reduce it to his crown or his T-rex was to easy, too cliché.

The pin I made to honor Basquiat is simple but I tried to emulate his style when he incorporated portrait elements into his complex story-board sagas.  He sometimes painted human forms in black and white with key features in simple primary colors.  After he gained success, Basquiat sometimes walked around photo-shoots in his Armani suit with no shoes on.  Graffiti artist meets Wall Street.  I wonder if he would wear a lapel pin?”

Created

2021

Medium

Oil and latex on panel, cellophane

Size

28 x 36 inches

Presentation

Unique Edition of 3

Signed

Yes

Description

Basquiat by Todd Koelmel

“Everyone knows the meteoric rise of Basquiat and his place in the New York art scene throughout the 80s.  He dated Madonna, was friends with Warhol, magazine covers, Debbie Harry – his story and his genius are amazing.  When I was studying his work for this series, I found it tricky to look through my filter.  When creating new work, I always try to boil things down and communicate images and icons as simply and as boldly as I can.  Jean-Michel’s work is the opposite of that – frenetic at times, busy, messy – in a genius kind of way.  It’s nearly impossible to boil down his style.  I felt that to just reduce it to his crown or his T-rex was to easy, too cliché.

The pin I made to honor Basquiat is simple but I tried to emulate his style when he incorporated portrait elements into his complex story-board sagas.  He sometimes painted human forms in black and white with key features in simple primary colors.  After he gained success, Basquiat sometimes walked around photo-shoots in his Armani suit with no shoes on.  Graffiti artist meets Wall Street.  I wonder if he would wear a lapel pin?”

About Todd Koelmel

Upstate NY artist, Todd Koelmel, enjoys a process that allows a back & forth flow between digital and analog. His surroundings are boiled down and flattened into fresh, digital illustrations that are bold yet simple – nostalgic yet modern. His transformation of digital to analog art incorporates stencils, masking tape, and traditional oil paint laid down in a graphic style.

Todd’s use of hard edges, saturated blocks of color, and chiaroscuro line pays respect to many artists from the long line of art history and continues it with a fresh breath of 21st century air. A wide set of interests allow Todd to overlay his unique filter onto landscapes, portraits, icons, still lifes, typography, abstract work, and video.

For more information on work like Basquiat by Todd Koelmel, contact info@guyhepner.comcreate new email.

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