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JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT HANDBOOK

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT HANDBOOK

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Edited with foreword and text by Larry Warsh. Text by Henry Geldzahler, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

This reader provides a concise introduction to the widely popular yet oft-misunderstood artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Guided by the steady hand of Basquiat scholar Larry Warsh, it is one of the few books of this kind to be directly approved by the artist’s estate and family: a notable distinction amid all of the buzz.


Jean-Michel Basquiat Handbook begins with a portrait of the young Basquiat, from his years as a precocious child in Brooklyn, to his rebellious teenagedom, to his meteoric rise in fame, to his tragic early death. The book then discusses the development of his groundbreaking style through the recurrent themes of his practice: urban life, the human figure, music and sports, to name just a few. The backend of the book provides a sampling of sketches from Basquiat’s notebooks, a chronology and incisive essays from scholars Henry Geldzahler and Henry Louis Gates Jr.


One of the first African American artists to reach international stature and wealth in the art world, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88) was celebrated for his fusion of multicultural symbols, social commentary and distinctive graphic style. He has been the subject of numerous exhibitions across the globe, and his work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, among many others.

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