The Irony Of The Negro Policeman Essay

791 Words Apr 27th, 2016 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 meant to criticize the at the time controversial topic of black men becoming policemen-thevery men who were enforcing laws that kept African American practically enslaved by paintingan almost entirely black entity with words “irony and pawn” adjacent to it and illustratingprison cell on the hat, head, or mind of the entity.Basquiat’s “Irony of the Negro Policeman,” is a sharp critique on members of his ownrace. By depicting a negro policeman, he is making a conscious effort to show how AfricanAmerican are controlled by the white majority in America. As a leader of the Neo-expressionistmovement in the late 70’s, Basquiat artwork characterized his subjects intensely without regardto formality or standards. This is aggressive handling of…

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