Jean Michel Basquiat took the New York art world by storm in the early 1980’s. Though his career was short, he left an indelible mark on American art.
His work was heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism, comics, Conceptualism, remix culture, jazz and sports and dealt with themes such as race, social tension and politics. Very quickly, his work was collected by the likes of Paul Simon, Richard Gere and the Whitney Museum with shows selling out and paintings selling for upwards of $25,000 in 1985. Recently, a 1985 painting by Basquiat was sold by Christies for nearly $50 million.
On February 7, the AGO will open the doors to the first ever major retrospective of Basquiat’s work in Canada and is a must-see for anyone interested in art or culture.
Below is a clip of Basquiat in Edo Bertoglio’s film “Downtown 81”.