Dr Irene Cioffi Whitfield – Jean-Michel Basquiat
Irene Cioffi Whitfield is a native New Yorker who received her Ph.D in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Irene subsequently trained as a Jungian analytical psychologist with IGAP, London, where she is a Senior Analyst, and she is also a full member of the JPA Jungian training program in New York City. Her special interest is in the interface between art and psychology and in the dynamic nature of the creative process. Irene lived in downtown NYC during the late 1970’s and early 80’s experiencing the burgeoning art scene first hand.
In 1988 when Jean Michel Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at the tender age of 27 he was already an art world superstar, and his position as one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century assured. Today most of his works, which were largely ignored by major museums, are held in private collections and achieve astronomical prices at auction. Basquiat was an explosive genius who worked at breakneck speed, as if gripped in a hurricane of creation. During his short career (1978-88) he produced over 2,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures, many of them on a gigantic scale. His themes were suitably grand: Royalty, Heroism and the Streets. His artistic enterprise took in high and low and everything in between, and his ambition for personal legacy knew no bounds — he wanted to be the king of the contemporary art world and he achieved this in his lifetime. In terms of academic art he ascended to the highest echelons of Goya, Picasso and Anselm Kiefer. He was, by any measure, the greatest American history painter of the 20th century
All CASW Tuesday evening lectures are held at 7:30pm in the large Chemistry Lecture Theatre (1-123), The Main Building, Cardiff University, Park Place, CF10 3AT.
Cardiff University Main Building car park (free) is accessed from Park Place.