He was a street kid, a teen runaway who had slept on benches in New York parks. But he was also a handsome privileged boy from an affluent Brooklyn neighborhood who had gone to private school.
He couldn’t draw worth a darn. He was a street graffiti artist. He painted the same painting over and over. He spoke 3 languages. As an adult, his best friend/competitor was Andy Warhol.
Jean-Michel Basquiat…his paintings are poetic, full of classical history, messy, charming, huge yet intimate. Everyone remains fascinated by him—the life is compelling, the person bewitching, the canvases impossible to turn away from—we either “get it” or don’t. His paintings sell today for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Basquiat invented a new language.
Words jumped out at him, from the backs of cereal boxes or subway ads, their double and hidden meanings. He was fascinated by the interior parts of the body as seen in an x-ray, sports figures, evil cats, 3 pointed crowns, kings, musicians, police, soap, teeth.
Jean-Michel Basquiat became a world sensation and died at age 27 from a heroin overdose.
**If you happen to be in Paris! You have 5 more days (closing January 21, 2019) to see a Basquiat blockbuster exhibition at the new and fabulous Louis Vuitton Museum.