Like American icons James Dean and Jimi Hendrix, Basquiat (1960-1988) was insecure, incredibly talented and died tragically young. Basquiat, who twisted every aesthetic convention, became a living legend, hailed like a rock star, acclaimed by critics, courted by gallerists from around the world. He was close to many of the pivotal artists of his generation, such as Keith Haring and Francesco Clemente, and Andy Warhol, with whom Basquiat created many memorable collaborative works. Basquiat managed to make himself heard above the racket of the neurotic art world of the 80s, by depicting the energy, violence and diversity of the world around him. He was able to integrate Afro-American history, the politics of rap, the language of jazz and his own rebellious nature into an extraordinary visual language, and left behind a body of work that is astonishing for its vastness, its diversity of themes, usage of materials and the quality of the painting. Basquiats paintings function as narratives for life events, cultural critiques and mental states. His apparently disordered, wild work is in reality surprisingly balanced. This book brings together over 110 of his most remarkable works, including collaborations with Warhol and Clemente.
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