In his short career, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a phenomenon. He became notorious for his graffiti art under the moniker Samo in the late 1970s on the Lower East Side scene, sold his first painting to Deborah Harry for 200 dollars, and became best friends with Andy Warhol. Appreciated by both the art cognoscenti and the public, Basquiat was launched into international stardom. However, soon his cult status began to override the art that had made him famous in the first place. Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense, bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while minimalist, conceptual art was the fad; as a successful black artist, he was constantly confronted by racism and misconceptions. Much can be gleaned from insider interviews and archival footage, but it is Basquiat's own words and work that powerfully convey the mystique and allure of both the artist and the man.
- Director: Tamra Davis
- Country: USA
- Genre: Documentary
- Year: 2010
- Run Time: 1:33:17
- imdb Score: 8.8/10 (16 votes)
- Language: English
- Rating: Not Rated
Melissa Anderson - VILLAGE VOICE
"A thoroughly engaging film about an inimitable New York painter."
John DeFore - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"The man himself stares into Davis's lens, both confident and scared; for these moments alone, the movie is key. "
Joshua Rothkopf - TIME OUT NEW YORK
Sundance Film Festival 2010
Newport Beach Int'l Film Festival 2010
AFI Dallas Int'l Film Festival 2010