Jean-Michel Basquiat was a “Punk” graffiti artist turned internationally renowned artist who was influential during the Neo-Expressionism art movement. In a rare 1982 interview in New York City by Marc H. Miller of ART/new york, we catch a glimpse into the unique portrait behind Basquiat.
Much of his works incorporated his African-Caribbean heritage and urban upbringing; his style was one of a few examples of 1980s counter-culture being “critically embraced and popularly celebrated” by the mainstream art scene.
Gallery 98 Bowery is streaming Basquiat’s 1982 interview recorded at his SoHo loft at 101 Crosby Street. At the time of this interview, the artist is just 21-years old and already an incredibly well known figure in the 1980s art scene. The interview takes place in Basquiat’s loft, but many of the images included were from the Fun Gallery in the East Village where the artist was having his showing as a “gesture of solidarity with onetime compatriots,” fellow graffiti artists.
Miller wrote that Basquiat was most comfortable talking about his paintings and not too much about personals so as not to risk his mystique. Miller also recalled that the artist showed his playful side talking about his art and a more “cutting wit” when addressing the misconceptions and hints of racial stereotyping, thus showing a “unique” portrait of Basquiat as an up-and-coming artist coming into his own.
He continues to be a celebrated figure in art history, and cultural institutions around the world still honor his memory, his art, and how it relates to the man who created them.
The Barbican Art Gallery in London is hosting the Basquiat: Boom for Real exhibition which is the United Kingdom’s first large-scale display of the artist’s work. With over 100 works from the artist including collaborated pieces with greats like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, the show captures Basquiat’s “spirit”. The exhibit is on display until January 28, 2018.
Additionally, the New York Film Festival held a screening of Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat including a Q&A session with Sara Driver, the director of the film. The documentary weaves the artist’s rise in the art community with the rising prominence of the art, music, performance, and cinematic world.