Basquiat. Short, sharp, stunning
The American painter and draftsman Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) numbers among the most fascinating and controversial figures of recent art history. His friendships with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Madonna are legendary and left their direct traces in his art.
The catalogue stages a retrospective of Basquiat’s extraordinary progression from nobody to star. It also looks in depth at the art-historical significance of the artist, who tragically died at the age of only 27. Basquiat’s works are suffused with the same energy and intensity that marked his short life.
Basquiat’s large-format, vibrantly colorful works are reproduced in the catalogue in high-quality illustrations. These are complemented by a generous selection of black-and-white photographs offering snapshots of the artist’s life. These not only narrate a visual biography but deliver fascinating and unexpected insights into the art and music scene in 1980s New York.
Essays by curator Dieter Buchhart and authors Glenn O’Brien, Jean-Louis Prat, and Susanne Reichling shed light on various aspects of Basquiat’s activities and personality. O’Brien, for example, asks the question: “Who was this man in the mask?”, while the artist himself makes some extremely revealing statements in an interview with Becky Johnston and Tamra Davis.