Film Reviews

Jean-Michel Basquiat (2009)Jean-Michel Basquiat (2009)

           When Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) died of a heroin overdose at the age of twenty-seven, he left over a thousand paintings and a thousand drawings. According to Wikipedia, "in 2012, for the second year running, Basquiat was the most coveted contemporary (i.e. born after 1945) artist at auction, with €80m in overall sales." People who knew him when he was young said he was very ambitious and that he wanted to be famous, but few would have predicted his legacy as a cult phenom. In a period of two or three years Basquiat rose from obscurity as a penniless graffiti artist who had dropped out of school in the tenth grade to having his paintings displayed around the world. But the meteoric rise of the comet flamed out just as quickly, and Basquiat died an isolated and troubled man. This documentary interviews curators, collectors, dealers, artists, and friends to trace the rise and fall of one of the most controversial artists of his generation. I watched this film on Netflix streaming.