Basquiat in Los Angeles

dot red basquiat in los angeles freize art fair


Basquiat’s Image and influence, past, present and near future.

Born in New York in 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat shot to fame in the art world during the 1980s. Basquiat’s energetic art drew inspiration from his mixed Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage and black cultural heroes, creating in his paintings a distinctive and subversive visual language. An artist of stirring emotional depth, Basquiat once said that his main themes were “kings, heroes, and the street.” He is recognized for the unique iconography he developed from urban culture, sports heroes, and jazz legends, as well as his ability to break down the boundaries between painting, text, and drawing.

Basquiat’s footprint in contemporary art is undeniable, as he has become a referent for black artists and for all those intrigued by the 1980’s New York Art Scene. Given his deep influence and connection with New York City, his time in Los Angeles isn’t as frequently discussed, but does not fail to be an important pinpoint in his trajectory as the infamous artist we recognize today.

At 21-years-old, Jean Michel-Basquiat arrived in Los Angeles under the guidance of art gallery owner Larry Gagosian, beginning to work in a small studio in Venice, where he could escape the pressures of New York. There, he executed the series of sixteen paintings that would eventually be exhibited in 1983 at the former Larry Gagosian Gallery in West Hollywood. During his time in LA, Basquiat developed a close working relationship and friendship with print publisher, gallery owner and art historian Fred Hoffman. Together, Hoffman and Basquiat produced six, now highly recognized, silk screen prints, two of which were included in the 1983 exhibition in West Hollywood.

Having some of his most recognized works produced while living in L.A., it is important to reflect upon the impact that the artist had, and the footprint he left on the city’s contemporary art history. Was Basquiat’s passing through L.A. an event that significantly influenced the city’s art scene? How has it affected other artists, curators and art enthusiasts in their own artistic trajectory?

Dot Red is a curator of Visual Art conversations and exhibitions, pioneering fresh relationships between artists, galleries, and diverse collectors while revolutionizing the business of art through virtual and live conversations and storytelling. For our first event of 2023, we bring an intersectional conversation surrounding the topic of Basquiat’s time in Los Angeles and his influence on the past, present and future of contemporary art in the city, during this year’s LA Art Week and Black History Month.

We’re excited to have Fred Hoffman as part of our panel, providing us with a historical perspective of Basquiat’s time in Los Angeles and the artist’s major accomplishments in the city. Alongside him, two well-recognized artists, Autumn Breon and Knowledge Bennet sharing their unique experiences of Basquiat’s ground-breaking career and work, that influenced decisions that they’ve made in their own careers with L.A. ‘s changing art climate.

Our Panel:

Fred Hoffman is an Art Dealer, publisher, curator and art historian who worked closely with Basquiat between 1982 and 1984. Hoffman facilitated the production of the artist’s 1984 silk screen paintings, arranged for Basquiat’s first European museum exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland (1984); and placed the first work by Basquiat into a major museum collection (The Museum of Modern Art, 1984). For several years Fred Hoffman served on the Authentication Committee for the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Autumn Breon is a Los Angeles based artist and curator who explores and investigates the visual vocabulary of liberation through a queer Black feminist lens. After living in South Africa, Autumn began the examination of contemporary art throughout the African Diaspora. Using a variety of media, she invites audiences to participate in the examination of freedom, intersectional identities, and Diasporic memory, and to reimagine and create systems that make current oppressive systems obsolete.

Knowledge Bennet is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, known for his pursuit of autonomy and effort to amplify the voice of visual narrative through his works. Bennett’s creative journey started with photography and large- format silk screen painting, which addressed the present-day issues faced by Black Americans. In his latest ongoing series, Bennett departs from representation and explores timeless subject matter, inviting the viewers and himself into a new discourse. His “Black Paintings” illustrate identity beyond the limitations of one’s body, depicting humanity rooted in cosmological divinities.

Jeremy Quant is a third-generation Angeleno-based Business owner who ran a successful Art Tourism Business, where he and his experts guided over 1,000 guests on art tours to museums, art galleries, artist studios around Los Angeles. From Collectors tours to Arts education and tourism for the last five years before his company pivoted on online and hybrid art experiences. He also organized the first Los Angeles Worldwide Inaugural Art Day Festival with the International Art Association and UNESCO.

Upcoming Events

No results found.


Follow us on Instagram
The Director of Philanthropy of the Portland Art Museum and our good friend, John Goodwin (@johngpdx) shares his take on how artists should cultivate their relationships with gallerists, museum directors and curators, to open new opportunities for exhibiting their art. 
Check out “Black Artists of Oregon”, the Portland Museum’s new exhibition, featuring 50+ artists that have implemented these tips themselves,  including Penda Diakité (@thebeautifulartist), Manuel Arturo Abreu (@mabreu91 ), Jaleesa Johnston (@jaleesa31 ), Ivan Carmona (@ivancarmonarosario), Mickalene Thomas (@mickalenethomas), Chris McMurry (@chrismcmurrydotcom) and many more. 
This exhibition, curated by Intisar Abioto (@intisarabioto) explores the lineage and legacy of Black artists in Oregon and will be open from September 9th, 2023  to March 17th, 2024. 
#contemporaryart #blackartists #artcollecting #portlandartmusem #artlivesinconversation #portlandartists
We had the pleasure of attending Derrick Adam’s @derrickadamsny new exhibition “Come as You Are” at Gagosian Gallery last Thursday. Adam’s art radiates Black joy and relaxation, offering a vibrant celebration of life. The artist intentionally centers celebration in his work, infusing humor, color and imagination into the narrative of the black experience✨. His art is a testament to the power of creativity and leisure and this exhibition immerses us in a world where the familiar mingles with the absurd, emphasizing the power of imagination in our lives.
#contemporaryart #derrickadams #artlivesinconversation #blackartists
“Photography or image-based art will inevitably be the most influential art form moving forward, and the works that we’re dealing in—these small photographs from history—are the seeds of that movement.”
- Bruce Silverstein, Eponymous Gallery
What do you think?
We want to thank everyone for coming out to our online exhibition, John Simmons “Photography is my Heart”. Your presence made a historic difference! If you weren’t able to make this one, you can still see the exhibition online!  The link is in the bio.
Thank you @johnsimmonsasc @bcooks2001 Family, Friends, Colleagues + 
#dotredco #photographyismyheart #losangelesphotgraphy #artlivesinconversation #photography #fineartphotography
📽️ Really excited to have Bridget R. Cooks, Ph. D. curate our next online solo exhibition, “Photography is my Heart” by John Simmons, renowned and Emmy Award - Winning Cinematographer and Multimedia Artist. 
📌 Join us for this online exhibition Wednesday, September,  6th 2023 at 5:30 PST. Link in bio to RSVP
📸cc: @meech213 
Share this with a photography lover! 
#dotred #johnsimmons #artlivesinconversation #laphotographers #artexhibition

More Interviews