10 questions about Basquiat
Ten questions about Basquiat, to get to know him and get important information about his work and his life.
How did his artistic career begin?
Which art movement it belonged to?
Along with Julian Schnabel, Kenny Scarf and Francesco Clemente, Basquiat was considered one of the leading figures of Neo-Expressionism, an art movement that reasserted the primacy of the human figure in contemporary art.
What was his first exhibition?
Did he succeed in life or was his art recognized only after his death?
Basquiat has had considerable success during his short life. From February to April 1981, Basquiat is included in “New York/New Wave”, an exhibition organized by Diego Cortez for the large gallery space at P.S.1 in Long Island City.
Basquiat’s works attract the attention of very important dealers like Emilio Mazzoli, Bruno Bischofberger, and Annina Nosei.
In 1982, at the age of 21, he became the youngest artist to ever exhibit at Documenta in Kassel, Germany, when nearly 60 of his paintings were featured at the esteemed exhibition.
Since 1982 his quotations have steadily grown, and this has allowed him to become rich despite his young age.
On February 10, Basquiat appears on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, for Cathleen McGuigan’s extensive article, “New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist.”
Where his artworks are displayed today?
- The Andy Warhol Museum
- Whitney Museum of American Art
- The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
- Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
- Daros Collection
- The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
- UCCA Center for contemporary Art
- The Broad
exhibit Basquiat’s artworks. Also several prestigious galleries of modern and contemporary art like GALERIE BRUNO BISCHOFBERGER, the Gagosian network of art galleries, Soho Contemporary Art own Basquiat’s artworks that are for sale but can be viewed for free. Exhibitions dedicated to Basquiat are frequently organized from museums and galleries around the world.
Who were his friends? Which places he attended?
His first significant friendship was with Al Diaz, the boy with whom he started the SAMO project. Basquiat was a close friend of Julian Schnabel, Keith Haring, Vincent Gallo, Jeffrey Deitch, an art consultant, Fab 5 Freddy, an american visual artist, filmmaker, and hip hop pioneer. Andy Warhol was his lifelong friend and mentor.
Basquiat was a regular visitor to the Mudd Club; for him it was virtually a second home. The Mudd Club was a night club in the TriBeCa district, opened in October 1978. The club was very well known in the underground music and counterculture scene of New York. Closed in 1983.
Another local frequented by Basquiat was the AREA, a place very much in vogue in those years. Basquiat was also a frequent visitor to the Mr Chow restaurant, in 57th Street New York.
How much his artworks cost?
The drawings and the works on paper can reach the price of many tens of thousands of dollars, his paintings of minor importance are sold for figures of the order of a few million dollars, while his most significant works cost tens of millions of dollars. An artwork brought $57.3 million at auction in 2016.
His record price has been reached on 18 May 2017, at auction at Sotheby’s New York: a masterpiece by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million (£85m). Sotheby’s said the sale of “Untitled” on Thursday night in Manhattan was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction.
Basquiat was heterosexual. He was a very nice boy and had a big success with women.
The most important love of his life was Suzanne Mallouk, a woman who was not a simple muse and lover for Basquiat; but the co-participant as well as the catalyst of every phase of the creative process during the very short but intense life of the New York artist. Not surprisingly, while she is with Basquiat, Suzanne graduates in psychology and it is only thanks to her that the artist manages to understand herself completely through her art.
He also had a brief relationship with the famous pop star Madonna, and several other girlfriends. His latest girlfriend was Kelle Inman, she was 22 when Basquiat died.