Sunday, February 24, 2013
The best of Jean-Michel Basquiat's brief, brilliant career is on display at the Gagosian Gallery in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. Over 50 paintings, including "Untitled (Two Heads on Gold)," 1982, above, demonstrate his frenetic energy, rage and humor; use of mixed media; haunting, mask-like images; mixture of the primitive and the neo-expressionistic, and tributes to African-American jazz masters and boxers. Like Keith Haring, another 1980s downtown New York artist whose 2012 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum was reviewed here, Basquiat started off as a graffiti artist. His meteoric rise ended as he succumbed to a heroin overdose at 27. For more on Basquiat, watch the documentary "The Radiant Child" (2010). I also recommend the film "Basquiat" (1996), directed by Julian Schnabel (see trailer).
“Jean-Michel Basquiat” continues through April 6 at the Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street, NYC; (212) 741-1111, gagosian.com.