Basquiat by Leonhard Emmerling
From the streets of New York to the walls of its most prominent galleries, follow the short, prolific, and politicized career of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a cult figure of artistic social commentary. This introduction explores how the young trailblazer drew from inspirations as varied as Greek, Roman, and African art, along with French poetry and jazz, to create visceral images mixing word with bold color.
This book presents Basquiat’s short but prolific career, his unique style, and his profound engagement with ever-relevant issues of integration and segregation, poverty and wealth.
Hardcover, 8.3 x 10.2 in., 1.35 lb, 96 pages
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.