Artist Jason Auguste Talks Jean-Michel Basquiat and Healing the World Through Art
Name: Jason Auguste
Hometown: The African Diaspora via Ethiopia via Trinidad and Jamaica and born here in New York. I know a little French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Art Medium: Painting and Graphic Art
What are you showing at eMerge?
I am contributing this piece in tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat; it’s called JMB Code and it’s a mixed-media digital piece that incorporates hand drawings and QR codes. It takes the art enthusiast into the life and works of Basquiat. It’s visual eye-candy for the enthusiast to delve into his subconscious.
When did you declare, “I am an artist?”
My father is an artist and as his son it comes natural. Being that he is the Most High, the Creator of all creation, we are all master creators. I have a very philosophical view on art, life and creation.
What is your proudest accomplishment(s) to date?
In art, over the past two years, putting myself out there more and taking my art outside of my hibernating and sanctified space and showing it to more people. Having more people to observe and see what I do throughout the city, including, at the French Institute for the International Organization of the Francophonie, Jamaican film presentation for Better Must Come at Lincoln Center, and recently the Celebrate Diversity, Celebrating You Festival in Harlem at the 125th Street Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building Plaza in Harlem, a one-day exhibition and tribute to Basquiat at El Muséo del Barrio and my own private show titled “Qiddus: An Ancient Modern Introspective” exhibit. Every month this year, I have been exhibiting at different venues throughout the city and that has been my goal, [to show] at some place that it hasn’t been seen before.
Do you have any formal training?
No. I picked it up naturally and have honed my skills by trial and error.
What social media do you use?
Twitter, Behance, Facebook, Tumblr and MySpace
What types of comments do you hear about your work?
“It taps into my DNA, soul and subconscious.” “Soothing.” “Healing.”
What motivates you?
God, the Most High. Sometimes I’m motivated by the human condition, the greatness within. As children of the Most High, we have great works to do on this planet to heal it.
What do you enjoy most about art?
The expression, freedom, multitude of interpretations and how anything in life is art and how art is everything around us.
Any last words…
Pay attention to what’s going in your communities. Within yourself, heal yourself and do the right thing for yourself. Listen to your inner voice and stay strong.