Basquiat. 40th Anniversary Edition
A condensed edition of the best-selling Basquiat monograph. Pristine reproductions of Basquiat’s seminal paintings, drawings, and notebook sketches, as well as texts by editor Hans Werner Holzwarth and curator and art historian Eleanor Nairne, bring us up close and personal to a legend synonymous with 1980s New York.
The photographs do not try to make a statement about their subjects’ feelings, or to spell out the particulars of their health, educational, and housing deficits. Rather, the collection allows 90 children to look out at the viewer with all the candor of youth and all the uncertainty of their future. Beautiful, proud, pensive, and sad, they stand before the camera for a moment in their lives, but ask questions that haunt for years to come. Will they remain in exile? Will they always know an enemy? Will they grow up to forgive or seek revenge? Will they grow up at all?
Basquiat’s expressive style was based on raw figures and integrated words and phrases. His work is inspired by a pantheon of luminaries from jazz, boxing, and basketball, with references to arcane history and the politics of street life—so when asked about his subject matter, Basquiat answered “royalty, heroism and the streets.” In 1983 he started collaborating with the most famous of art stars, Andy Warhol, and in 1985 was on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. When Basquiat died at the age of 27, he had become one of the most successful artists of his time.
First published in an XXL edition, this unprecedented insight into Basquiat’s art is now available in a compact, accessible volume in celebration of TASCHEN’s 40th anniversary. With pristine reproductions of his most seminal paintings, drawings, and notebook sketches, it offers vivid proximity to Basquiat’s intricate marks and scribbled words, further illuminated by an introduction to the artist from editor Hans Werner Holzwarth, as well as an essay on his themes and artistic development from curator and art historian Eleanor Nairne. Richly illustrated year-by-year chapter breaks follow the artist’s life and quote from his own statements and contemporary reviews to provide both personal background and historical context.
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