Jazz has been an influence in many artist’s
work, from painting to other forms of music. Jazz is an American music
form that was developed from African-American work songs. The white man
began to imitate them in the 1920’s and the music form caught on and became
very popular. Two artists that were influenced by jazz were Jean-Michel

Basquiat and Stuart Davis. The influence is quite evident in many of their
works, such as Horn Players, by Basquiat, and Swing Landscape, by Davis.

Stuart Davis was born in Philadelphia
in 1894. He grew up in an artistic environment, his father was art director
of a Philadelphia newspaper, who had employed Luks, Glackens, and other
members of the Eight. He studied with Robert Henri from 1910 to 1913, made
covers and drawings for the social realist periodical The Masses, which
was associated with the Ash-can School, and exhibited watercolors in the

Armory Show, which made an overwhelming impact on him. After a visit to

Paris in 1928 he introduced a new note into U.S. cubism, basing himself
on its synthetic rather than its analytical phase. Using natural forms,
particularly forms suggesting the characteristic environment of American
life, he rearranged them into flat poster-like patterns with precise outlines
and sharply contrasting colors.

He later went on to pure abstract
patterns, into which he often introduced lettering, suggestions of advertisements,
and posters. The zest and dynamism of such works as Swing Landscape reflect
his interest in jazz, which Davis considered to be the counterpart to abstract
art. Davis is often considered to be the outstanding American artist to
work in a cubism idiom. He made witty and original use of it and created
a distinctive American style, for however abstract his works became he
always claimed that every image he used had its source in observed reality.

Davis once said " I paint what I see in America, in other words I paint
the American scene."

Stuart Davis?works of the late 1930’s
celebrate the urban and technological environment and are quite complex
and frequently recall Legers’s brightly coloured geometric forms. Early
works depict saloons and ragtime musicians. Titles and images of his works
in the 30’s reflect syncopation and unusual rhythm of jazz, particularly

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in

1960, four years before Stuart Davis?death. At an early age Basquiat showed
an interest and love for drawing. His mother often took him to The Brooklyn

Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At
the age of seven he and a friend of his wrote and illustrated a children’s
book. Basquiat was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock films, cars, comic books,
and Alfred E. Newman from Mad Magazine. By the time he was seven he was
an avid reader of French, Spanish, and English texts. In his teenage years

Basquiat ran away from home often. He did not like obedience. By 1978 he
was in with the "in crowd." The filmmakers and artists of New York. He
enjoyed doing graffiti work using the name SAMO ( same old shit ).

Basquiat’s career was divided into
three broad phases. From 1980 to 1982 he used painterly gestures, mostly
skeletal figures that signal his obsession with mortality. He also used
figures that represent street existence, such as policeman, buildings,
and graffiti. From 1982 to 1985 he was using more phrases and words in
his paintings. They reveal a strong interest in his black and hispanic
identity and his identification with historical and contemporary black
figures and events. The last phase was from 1986 until his death in 1988.

His work displays a new type of figurative depiction, using different symbols,
sources, and content. He was seeking a new territory in his work.

When Basquiat’s Horn Players and

Davis?Swing Landscape are displayed side by side it is quite obvious that
they were done by two different artist. In Swing Landscape it is not obvious
that this piece was inspired by jazz, as where in Horn Players the influence
of jazz is evident. These painters have two completely different styles
but are inspired by the same types of things. They are inspired by society
and music. They both appreciate the art value of music, especially jazz.

Stuart Davis?Swing Landscape is
quite colorful and vibrant. The colors give a feeling of jazz with the
use of blues and cool colors. The use of the warm colors shows the unpredictability
of jazz. There are many forms of geometric shapes used in this painting.

The shapes used in this painting again show the unpredictability of jazz,
as well as the vibrancy of that music form. There are not a lot of distinguishing
symbols of jazz in the painting,