What’s the Meaning of Basquiat’s Crown Motif?

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s crown motif appears so often in his art it has become a recognizable symbol in popular culture, appearing on everything from t-shirts to tattoos. Here are 19 examples of crowns in Basquiat’s paintings, along with musings on their meanings. Basquiat’s crown evokes a subversive, emotional aesthetic. Its appropriation by other artists and designers, whether in homage or blatant heist, authenticates its position as an icon that deeply resonates in today’s culture. But what does the prolific crown emblem mean, and why was the artist so obsessed with it? While many critics have weighed in, most interpretations boil down to a handful of … Continue reading What’s the Meaning of Basquiat’s Crown Motif?