JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT THE WILD CHILD

A UNIQUE ROAD TO SUCCESS

"From the start, I set my sights high. I didn’t care what people thought. I wanted my work to speak for itself, and totally silence the critics."

Before Jean-Michel Basquiat, the line between street art and ‘real’ art was uncrossable. Graffiti was defacement, a form of vandalism.

After him, street art became gallery art, one of contemporary art’s hottest commodities. His meteoric rise to the top, however, never got to him; he never cracked under the pressure of the art market, or changed his intense commitment to painting. For him, art was, always, everything.

...LIKE TAG HEUER’S

Just as Basquiat challenged conventional aesthetics by bringing street graffiti into the gallery, TAG Heuer challenged watchmaking aesthetics.
He was never going to accept the categories and limits that others wanted to impose upon him, even if it meant going too far, too fast—and dying too young. He was never going to be just another Brooklyn kid with a spray can who thought he had something to say...

The streets were his roots—sleeping on park benches from the time he was 15—but Picasso and Warhol were his peers, and immortality his destiny. Born in 1960, dead of an overdose in 1988, Haitian, Puerto-Rican, American, black, but always more than the sum of these parts. A provocateur. A performer, A musician. A writer. And, above all, an artist, a painter who put every ounce of energy and ambition into his work, into complex constructions of text and image—800 in all—that changed the way the world looked at and thought about painting. His canvases – ironic, iconic, politically astute, socially aware – caught the adrenaline-fueled spirit of an era and made him a star—the dreadlocked wild child in paint-splattered bespoke suits who showed in major galleries and museums around the world. But his dedication to his craft—to working every day—never changed. It only grew, along with his vision and talent. Which is why he is the perfect TAG Heuer Ambassador. Because just as Basquiat challenged conventional aesthetics by bringing street graffiti into the gallery, TAG Heuer challenged watchmaking aesthetics. Like TAG Heuer, he was a path-breaker who refused limits and, no matter what, never cracked under pressure.

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AMBASSADORS

For more than 150 years, TAG Heuer has faced down every challenge, and then pushed past it. By defying the time-honored conventions of Swiss watchmaking, it has led it to ever higher levels of precision and performance. It makes its own rules, chooses its own path, never quits moving forward, never compromises, never cracks under pressure, just like its ambassadors.