‘Jean-Michel Basquiat: His Life and His Art’ Online Course

This is an academic course on the art of Jean Michel Basquiat. Focusing on Basquiat’s art works, including his notebooks, this course brings in new perspectives on Basquiat’s place in art history, taking into context the influences of music TV, comics, art, and the cultural history of New York and the art market at that time.

This course in 20 words:

Innovative, Fresh, Unique, Exploratory, Fun, Engaging, Special, Searching, Creative, Basquiat, Rewarding, Inspiring, Adaptable, Illuminating, Music, Jazz, Artistry, Range, New, Perspectives

 Personal welcome from Karin Merx course creator and facilitator of Online Arts Education

Course Overview

  • 6 lessons
  • self-directed viewing & note-taking
  • Certificate of Completion
  • English

Handcrafted Course Delivery

  • Tutorial Videos, Articles & More…
  • Handcrafted guides and prompt questions
  • Optional extended sources for advanced learners

Who is this course for?

  • People who are interested in art history
  • Students & Teachers
  • Lifelong Learners
  • Academics & Researchers

About the Course

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an artist who lived a very brief and intense life. He was 15 years old when he roamed the streets of New York with a spray can to paint aphorisms on the walls of buildings and railway carriages. Basquiat did not go to the art academy, learned the skill and started a career as artist. However, Basquiat knew one thing: he wanted to be rich and famous. He was 3 years old when he started drawing everything that he experienced in his life, and he never stopped. Apart from the focus on his desire, everything around him seemed to line up, the art market, the recent past of the art history, which seemed not very exiting for collectors, and the time in which he was able to perform his art. Up until now, Basquiat, his life and art still appeal to people in popular culture. This leads to the following questions…..

Who was Jean Michel Basquiat?

How and why did he create his art?

What exactly was it that made Basquiat so unique as an artist that he is still an important cult-figure today?

This course starts with a short introduction of the New York art scene in the seventies and eighties and an overview of Basquiat’s life. You will also find resources for this course and for wider reading. We continue with Basquiat’s early career as graffiti artist and as musician. We will proceed through Basquiat’s career as painter, the influences on his work and look into his notebooks to gain an understanding of the artist and his work. By the end it is my wish that we have a clearer sense of the artist Basquiat, his work, and his significance in art and culture.

Karin Merx MA, course creator and facilitator, biography

karinKarin Merx studied Cultural Studies at the Open University in the Netherlands, and Music at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. She taught music for 20 + years and enjoys teaching about the subjects she loves (art, art history, cultural philosophy, cultural history, literature, film philosophy). Karin studied visual arts and enjoys illustrating books and book covers. Her research interests are popular culture, cultural philosophy, music, and art history. She is a professional academic, artist, editor and podcaster.

Karin has the following qualifications:

  • MA Cultural Studies (Art History, Cultural History, Cultural Philosophy, Literature), specialised in Art History, achieved in 2016 from Open University Netherlands.
  • BA Cultural Studies – Cultural Philosophy achieved in 2009 from Open University Netherland.
  • Bmus Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam (flute), achieved in 1989.


My books, courses and resources are designed to help you reach your full potential and improve your life experience. As the law states, I cannot and do not make any guarantees about your ability to get results with my ideas, information, tools or strategies. All products and services by Karin Merx Arts, karinmerx.co.uk, MichaelJacksonStudies.org and OnlineArtsEducation.co.uk are for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in this work, any of these websites, or any of this content or curriculum is a promise or guarantee of specific results.

Course Instructor

Karin Merx Karin Merx Author

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