I was a teenager when Jean-Michel Basquiat died, and at this time I was drawing my observing eye in the streets of Paris. Like I said in Grandmaster Flash, Seen, Jordans… Remembering the good old days!, graffiti and video games were my main hobbies during this period, and I can still remember what I was doing when Andy Warhol died in 1987, Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1988 and Keith Haring in 1990; three deaths of great artists that really inspired me and my work as an artist.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was already famous in the mid 1980s and he is now even more. This week, two events in Paris are celebrating the artist. First Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child directed by Tamra Davis, in French theaters since yesterday (October, 13th). Some words taken from the synopsis on the official website:
Centered on a rare interview that director and friend Tamra Davis shot with Basquiat over twenty years ago, this definitive documentary chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist […] In 1985 he and Andy Warhol become close friends and painting collaborators, but they part ways and Warhol dies suddenly in 1987. Basquiat’s heroin addiction worsens, and he dies of an overdose in 1988 at the age of 27 […] With compassion and psychological insight, Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster quality of the downtown scene he seemed to embody.
But that’s not all. Between October, 15th 2010 and January, 30th 2011 the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is devoting an enormous retrospective to Jean-Michel Basquiat. Marking the 50th anniversary of his birth, this is the first Basquiat exhibition ever of this scale in France. What I didn’t know is that in 1984, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris already presented Jean-Michel Basquiat in the group exhibition “Free Figuration France/USA“, in which his work appeared alongside of that of Robert Combas, Hervé Di Rosa and Keith Haring.
So if you live in Paris or if you are just visiting the city, maybe we will meet in a theater or at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Two events I can’t miss and that remember me some good old days and inspirational moments from my youth!