Jean Michel Basquiat
By Eric Fretz
(Greenwood Press, Hardcover, 9780313380563, 199pp.)
Publication Date: March 2010
List Price: $35.00*
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Jean-Michel Basquiat was barely out of his teens when he rocketed to the center of New York's art scene. He was 27 when he died of a heroin overdose. Always controversial, Basquiat is now established as a major contemporary painter whose unique work continues to enthrall.
"Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Biography" covers the artist's Brooklyn childhood, his teenage years as a homeless graffiti painter, and his rise through the art world. Along with a discussion of his life and work, including his use of Afrocentric themes, the book offers background on related contemporary art movements. Special attention is given to Basquiat's friendship with Keith Haring and collaborations with Andy Warhol. The book also explores Basquiat's difficult relations with gallery owners and other authority figures, his problems with drug use, and his early death. A final chapter covers his continuing relevance and ongoing influence.