Who We Are.

There have been so many people that have come together to make this project come together. From the incredible support of the painting's collector to the curatorial (Lisa Dorin, Sonnet Coggins, Nina Peleaz) team at Williams College Museum of Art and Williams College (especially Sharifa Wright who championed this), Samala, the designer and lead strategist behind this site and the curators and art historians such as Jordana Saggese, Franklin Sirmans and more, Basquiat's Defacement: The Project in all of its many forms would have simply not been possible without the activists, artists, writers, curators, historians, designers, friends of Basquiat and Michael Stewart and supporters that have come together to bring this painting to the public.

Incredibly heartfelt thanks and acknowledgments to: Michael Stewart and his family, Jean-Michel Basquiat and his family, Clinton Allen, Keith Haring and Julia Gruen, executive director of The Keith Haring Foundation, the collector of Defacement who believed in this from Day 1, Joseph Hutchinson whose support was invaluable, Francesco Clemente, Squarespace who generously donated the web support, Franklin Sirmans whose foundational work on Basquiat can not be overstated, Jordana Saggese who gave so generously of thought and time, Dr. Kellie Jones who raised the bar with the 2005 Brooklyn Retrospective, Christian Campbell, Lissa Bissa and Renaldo, Kenny Scharf and especially to the social justice activists and organizers that have risked their lives, freedom and livelihoods to declare that Black Lives Matter. 

This is the most topical painting in Basquiat’s body of work at the moment. When you remove the myth and iconography of Jean-Michel Basquiat and engage directly with this work, you see a 22-year-old struggling with the vulnerability of the Black body, the limits of assimilation, and the idea of state violence as an American heritage.
— Chaédria LaBouvier

About the creators

 Photo by Curtis Bryant

Photo by Curtis Bryant

williams college museum of art.jpg

Chaédria LaBouvier

Creator, Editor & Curator


Co-Creator, Co-Curator & Programming

 Photo by Michael-Rhian Tjader  C. M. SAMALA  STRATEGIST & DESIGNER

Photo by Michael-Rhian Tjader