Art Masters: Basquiat
By Julian Voloj and Søren Mosdal
The dazzling, provocative work of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) would come to define the vibrant New York art scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Punk, jazz, graffiti, hip-hop: his work drew heavily on the cultural trappings of lower Manhattan, to which he fled—from Brooklyn—at the age of 15. This stunning graphic novel captures the dramatic life and exhilarating times of this archetypal New York artist, covering everything from the SAMO graffiti project to his first solo show, from his relationship with Andy Warhol to the substance abuse that would cost him his life.
Today, Basquiat’s influence can be seen not only in fine art but in fashion, design, and music. Now, for the first time, his remarkable story is told in graphic novel form. This playful, authoritative biography shows Basquiat’s work to be more important, his themes more urgent, than ever before.
- 136 pages
- Published by SelfMadeHero
- 6.8 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
A poet, musician, and graffiti prodigy in late-1970s New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat had honed his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams, and mask-and-skull imagery by the time he was 20. “I don’t think about art while I work,” he once said. “I think about life.” Basquiat drew his subjects from his own Caribbean heritage—his father was Haitian and his mother of Puerto Rican descent—and a convergence of African-American, African, and Aztec cultural histories with Classical themes and contemporary heroes like athletes and musicians. Often associated with Neo-expressionism, Basquiat received massive acclaim in only a few short years, showing alongside artists like Julian Schnabel, David Salle, and Francesco Clemente. In 1983, he met Andy Warhol, who would come to be a mentor and idol. The two collaborated on a series of paintings before Warhol’s death in 1987, followed by Basquiat’s own untimely passing a year later.