Irony Of The Negro Policeman Analysis

791 Words 4 Pages
The Irony in thatLeatherwood1Humn 1101Jean-Michel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1960 to a father from Haiti and a Puerto Ricanmother. Young Jean-Michel Basquiat’s focus on race was shaped and formed during anupbringing filled with varying degrees of struggles. Basquiat’s Haitian heritage was oftendepicted in many of his artwork. He grew up in the 60s-70s in Manhattan when racism was stillevidently alive and white establishment was quick to remind you of your place. His interest inthe arts began to bloom from wall graffiti to canvas neo-expressionism. His desire to makesocial and political commentary through his art grew as well. This was evident when heillustrated his artwork, “Irony of the Negro Policeman.” The “Irony of the Negro Policeman,”was …show more content…
On the right of the painting are the words “Irony of the Negro Policeman,” and to thebottom right of the painting is the word “pawn.” (wiki) The use of irony has long been used byartist to make their statements or to clarify them. What we see is entirely different from whatwe were intended to see. The head in “Irony of the Negro Policeman,” symbolizes the hypocrisyof the person who is controlled by white society. The policeman wears a colorful hat whichframes the head and seems like a cage. It represents “how constrained the independentperceptions of African Americans were at the time.” (2) While Basquiat related more to whiteculture than black, having more Caucasian associated than black. Nevertheless, basquiat wasaware of the pigeon hole white society had for him. In the painting he colored the backgroundwhite to symbolize the “white” society in which African Americans try to live and survive.In “Irony of the Negro Policeman,” the hat that the negro policeman wears express hisHaitian heritage as the hat associates with the Guede family of Loa, who embody the powers ofdeath in voodoo. (3) Basquiat usually represented his Haitian heritage or African American andethnic roots in his work, like he does in this painting. His diverse cultural was one of his manysources of inspiration. His rise to fame coincided with emergence of a new art movement, …show more content…
(4) Being African American was not an easy task for Jean Basquiat, but he managed towork hard and become powerful. Basquiat not only support his African American graffiti andnegro painters, but he also supported all negroes that was making a change in the 70’s and80’s. (Sayre) Of course, his time here on earth was cut short due to a heroin overdose at theage of 27. He left behind a wealth of artistic influence, also gave African Americans the strengthto emerge above the society and his work is still sought by many high-profile collectors.
MLA Citations"Jean Michel-Basquiat." Wikiart. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. (1)Frohne, Andrea(1999) “Representing Jean-Michel Basquiat. In Okpewho, Isidore; Davies,Carole Boyce; Mazrui, Ali Al’Amin. The African Diapora: African Origins and New WorldIdentities (1sted) Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press- pp 439-451 (2)"Irony of Negro Policeman – Contextual Analysis." Academia. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. (3)"Irony of Negro Policeman – Contextual Analysis." Academia. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. (4)Sayre, Henry M. Discovering the Humanities. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson, 2015. Print.Leatherwood4Humn

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