By Marianina Patsa
“I’m not a real person. I’m a legend.” The notorious extroverted artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, was properly introduced to us. At 17, his father threw him out of the house. With his unique talent, within a few years, Jean-Michel Basquiat went from being broke and homeless to selling each of his paintings for $25,000 and throwing $100 bills out the window of his limousine to the homeless. His good friend and mentor was Andy Warhol, and he was a couple with Madonna at a time when both their stars were shooting up in the sky.
His works are as expressive and vibrant as his life. His bold brushstrokes and words are collected in the book XXL JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (TASCHEN Publications), which includes his most important works. The large scale of the book offers an engaging perspective while also examining his artistic development year by year through quotations and his own statements. Essays by editor Hans Werner Holzwarth and curator and art historian Eleanor Nairne introduce us to a legend synonymous with 1980s New York.