Published by Damiani. Edited by Steven Kasher. Text by Jill Freedman, John Edwin Mason, Aaron Bryant.
This 50th-anniversary edition of Jill Freedman’s 1970 photo book documenting the climax of Dr. Martin Luther King's 1968 Poor People's Campaign—set in Resurrection City, a six-week, 3,000-person protest encampment on the Washington Mall—is "a masterpiece," according to Kirkus. "Her black-and-white prints are honest and stirring portraits of the ordinary people at the heart of this historic uprising," Rebecca Bengal writes in Vulture. "The reissue is timely. Inequity is starker than ever." —Holland Cotter, The New York Times.
Published by David Zwirner Books/Victoria Miro. By Hilton Als. Foreword by Jeremy Lewison.
Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als on Alice Neel’s quietly political portraits of her uptown New York neighbors
Known for her portraits of family, friends, writers, poets, artists, students, singers, salesmen, activists and more, Alice Neel (1900–84) created forthright, intimate and, at times, humorous paintings that quietly engaged with political and social issues. In Alice Neel, Uptown, writer and curator Hilton Als brings together a body of paintings and works on paper of African Americans, Latinos, Asians and other people of color for the first time. Highlighting the innate diversity of Neel’s approach, the selection looks at those often left out of the art-historical canon and how this extraordinary painter captured them; “what fascinated her was the breadth of humanity that she encountered,” Als writes.
The publication explores Neel’s interest in the diversity of uptown New York and the variety of people among whom she lived. This group of portraits includes well-known figures such as playwright, actress and author Alice Childress, the sociologist Horace R. Cayton, Jr., the community activist Mercedes Arroyo; and the widely published academic Harold Cruse, alongside more anonymous individuals of a nurse, a ballet dancer, a taxi driver, a businessman and a local boy who ran errands for Neel.
In short and illuminating texts on specific works written in his characteristic narrative style, Als writes about the history of each sitter and offers insights into Neel and her work, while adding his own perspective. A contemporary and personal approach to the artist’s oeuvre, Als’ project is “an attempt to honor not only what Neel saw, but the generosity of her seeing.”
Published by Damiani. Introduction by Marla Hamburg Kennedy. Interview by Cheryl Dunn.
During the summer of 1980, under the direction of his photographer father, Jamel Shabazz armed himself with a Canon AE1 SLR camera and began to photograph the landscape of his native New York City. Photographing in the streets put Shabazz right in the heart of all of the action; he carried his camera everywhere he went, from Harlem to Times Square, the Lower East Side to downtown Brooklyn, always set and at the ready. Like a fisherman seeking a fruitful catch, Shabazz ventured into locations full of life and uncertainty in hopes of capturing a unique moment. Consisting of 120 color and black-and-white photographs taken between 1985 and the 2000s, most of which have never been published, Sights in the City is the testament of Shabazz’s visual journey.
New York–based Jamel Shabazz (born 1960) is a documentary, fashion and street photographer. Since first picking up the camera nearly 40 years ago he has authored seven monographs (including the popular volume Back in the Days) and exhibited worldwide; his work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, The Smithsonian and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Published by Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. Edited by Sigrid Asmus. Introduction by Jessica Hunter-Larsen, Megan Valentine. Foreword by Catherine M. Pears. Text by Heidi R. Lewis, Roland Mitchell, Takiyah Nur Amin, Velva Boles, Claire Garcia, Jean Gumpper, Kate Leonard, Venetria K. Patton, Sha'Condria Sibley, Karen Riley Simmons, Claudine Taaffe.
Engaging a wide range of experiences, techniques and materials, the nine artists featured in this volume challenge the images of black women that continue to pervade our culture and influence perceptions: stereotypes such as the suffering mama, the angry black woman and the temptress. Brought together in this publication, works by Romare Bearden, Mildred Howard, Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Robert Colescott, Ellen Gallagher, Alison Saar and Mickalene Thomas disrupt expectations and replace simplistic narratives with nuanced, sophisticated meditations on contemporary identity.
Art by African Americans in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Published by MFA Publications. Edited with text by Lowery Stokes Sims. Text by Dennis Carr, Janet L. Comey, Elliot Bostwick Davis, Aiden Faust, Nonie Gadsden, Edmund Barry Gaither, Karen Haas, Erica E. Hirshler, Kelly Hays L'Ecuyer, Taylor L. Poulin, Karen Quinn.
The story of African Americans in the visual arts has closely paralleled their social, political and economic aspirations over the last 400 years. From enslaved craftspersons to contemporary painters, printmakers and sculptors, African American artists have created a wealth of artistic expression that addresses common experiences, such as exclusion from dominant cultural institutions, and confronts questions of identity and community. This generously illustrated volume gathers more than 100 works of art in a variety of media by leading figures from the nineteenth century to the present—among them, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Lois Mailou Jones, Gordon Parks, Wifredo Lam, Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon and Kerry James Marshall—alongside many others who deserve to be better known, including artists from the African diaspora in South America and the Caribbean. Arranged thematically and featuring authoritative texts that provide historical and interpretive context, Common Wealth invites readers to share in a rich outpouring of art that meets shared challenges with individual creative responses.
Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co./Aspen Art Press. Text by Malik Gaines, Ernest Hardy, Philippe Vergne, Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson.
This book gathers for the first time an extensive selection of American artist—or “builder and demolisher,” as he describes himself—Mark Bradford's gorgeous, searing and heavily textured “merchant posters.” The original printed posters, collected by Bradford from around his Central Los Angeles neighborhood, are brightly colored local advertisements that target the area's vulnerable lower-income residents. For Bradford, they serve as both the formal and conceptual underpinnings of his works on paper, décollages/collages that engage with the pressures of the cityscape. “The sheer density of advertising creates a psychic mass, an overlay that can sometimes be very tense or aggressive,” he notes; “If there's a 20-foot wall with one advertisement for a movie about war, then you have the repetition of the same image over and over—war, violence, explosions, things being blown apart. As a citizen, you have to participate in that every day. You have to walk by until it's changed.” Eagerly anticipated, this is the first large-scale publication by a major publisher about the work of this important and increasingly influential artist. Artist and writer Malik Gaines considers Bradford's play with signs in relation to literary and performative theories of African-American forms; writer and cultural critic Ernest Hardy addresses social issues, in Los Angeles and more broadly, raised by Bradford's source material; Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson examines the language in the work as it relates to Concrete poetry; and Dia Art Foundation Director Philippe Vergne looks at the surface of the work and Bradford's processes of mining and excavation.
Published by Reel Art Press/Morton Hill. Introduction by Forent Mazzoleni.
Burkina Faso photographer Sory Sanlé (born 1943) started his career in 1960, the year his country (then named République de Haute-Volta) gained independence from France.
Sanlé opened his Volta Photo portrait studio in 1965 and, working with his Rolleiflex twin-lens, medium-format camera, Volta Photo was soon recognized as the finest studio in the city. Voltaic photography’s unsung golden age is fully embodied by Sory Sanlé: his black-and-white images magnify this era and display a unique cultural energy and social impact.
This is the first monograph on Sanlé’s work, which examines the natural fusion between tradition and modernity. Sanlé documented the fast evolution of Bobo-Dioulasso, then Burkina Faso’s cultural and economic capital, portraying the city’s inhabitants with wit, energy and passion. His work conveys a youthful exuberance in the wake of the first decades of African independence. In many ways, Sanlé’s subjects also illustrate the remoteness and melancholy of African cities landlocked deep in the heart of the continent.
“Mr. Sanlé’s work documenting the cultural scene is reminiscent of that by Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keita ... and now it is his turn to be lionized.” –The New York Times
Published by Steidl. Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr. Introduction by Isabel Wilkerson. Text by Karen Haas.
The first African American photographer to be hired full time by Life magazine, Gordon Parks was often sent on assignments involving social issues that his white colleagues were not asked to cover. In 1950 he returned on one such assignment to his hometown of Fort Scott in southeastern Kansas: he was to provide photographs for a piece on segregated schools and their impact on black children in the years prior to Brown v. Board of Education. Parks intended to revisit early memories of his birthplace, many involving serious racial discrimination, and to discover what had become of the 11 members of his junior high school graduation class since his departure 20 years earlier. But when he arrived only one member of the class remained in Fort Scott, the rest having followed the well-worn paths of the Great Migration in search of better lives in urban centers such as St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbus and Chicago. Heading out to those cities Parks found his friends and their families and photographed them on their porches, in their parlors and dining rooms, on their way to church and working at their jobs, and interviewed them about their decision to leave the segregated system of their youth and head north. His resulting photo essay was slated to appear in Life in the spring of 1951, but was ultimately never published. This book showcases the 80-photo series in a single volume for the first time, offering a sensitive and visually arresting view of our country's racialized history. Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was born into poverty and segregation in Fort Scott, Kansas. The self-taught photographer also found success as a film director, author and composer. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts and over 50 honorary degrees.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Edited with text by Sarah Suzuki. Text by David Adjaye, Chika Okeke-Agulu, et al.
Within the pages of this book is one of the great international cities whose sole difference from the others is its complete lack of people, or as Peter Schjeldahl describes it: "imaginary buildings and whole cities in a perfectly integral melange of modern, postmodern and entirley invented styles." Discover more than three decades of sculpture from this Congolese artist whose creations, built from the scraps and pieces of everyday life, amount to a city that is instantly familiar in its billboards and institutions yet out of reach in its utopian vision and fantastic design. The Wall Street Journal's Peter Plagens writes, "'sparkling,' 'colorful,' 'intricate' and 'inventive' are so inadequate in describing his work that one is tempted to drag out that overused compliment in contemporary arts commentary: 'amazing.'''
Published by Steidl. Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Brett Abbott. Introduction by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Text by Maurice Berger.
In September 1956, Life magazine published a photo-essay by Gordon Parks entitled "The Restraints: Open and Hidden," which documented the everyday activities and rituals of one extended African American family living in the rural South under Jim Crow segregation. One of the most powerful photographs depicts Joanne Thornton Wilson and her niece, Shirley Anne Kirksey, standing in front of a theater in Mobile, Alabama, an image which became a forceful "weapon of choice," as Parks would say, in the struggle against racism and segregation. While 26 photographs were eventually published in Life and some were exhibited in his lifetime, the bulk of Parks' assignment was thought to be lost. In 2011, five years after Parks' death, The Gordon Parks Foundation discovered more than 70 color transparencies at the bottom of an old storage bin marked "Segregation Series" that are now published for the first time in Segregation Story.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Text by Esther Adler.
The Chicago-born artist Charles White (1918–79) was celebrated during his lifetime for depictions of African-American men, women and children that acquired the name “images of dignity. White’s draftsmanship, his direct address of the social and political concerns of his time, and his commitment to media that gave his art wide circulation established him as a major artist, and one with significant influence both on his contemporaries and on later generations. Beginning with White’s early days as an artist in the Chicago of the 1930s and ’40s, moving through his time spent developing his craft in New York in the late 1940s and ’50s, and closing with his final decades as a revered figure in Los Angeles, Charles White: Black Pope explores the artist’s practice and strategies through consideration of key works. It devotes particularly close examination to his late masterwork "Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man)," in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. By creating visually compelling, ideologically complex works that engage audiences on many levels, White established himself as a key figure of his time, one whose work continues to resonate today.
Published by nai010 publishers. Edited with text by Rachel Keeton, Michelle Provoost. Text by Edgar Pieterse, Peter Gotsch, David Sims, Israel Marques, Preston Mendenhall, Antoneh Tona, Wajiha Ibrahim, Antoni Folkers, Coen Beeker, Femke van Noorloos, Ellen Geurts, Alonso Ayala Aleman, Henk Ovink, Anne Erdl.
Africa’s population and economic growth make it the world’s fastest urbanizing continent. While some might still associate Africa with rural development, the future of Africa is, in fact, very urban. This urbanization poses a huge challenge in areas with fragile institutional frameworks and chronic poverty; new city-dwellers frequently end up in self-organized settlements without basic services. Developers and investors have offered one alternative, designing and building new towns in Africa modeled after Asian and American cities. But is this really a proper alternative? Does one size fit all?
To Build a City in Africa brings together authors from various academic, political and design backgrounds to explore case studies on new towns in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Angola, Morocco and Kenya, among other examples. This publication provides a critical narrative about African urbanization and questions the western world’s role in the radical transformations happening in Africa today.
Published by Steidl. Edited by Thelma Golden, Elizabeth Gwinn, Lauren Haynes. Foreword by Raymond J. McGuire.
A Harlem Family 1967 honors the legacy and the work of late iconic artist and photojournalist Gordon Parks, who would have turned 100 on November 30, 2012. The exhibition catalogue is co-published by The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Gordon Parks Foundation and features approximately 80 black-and-white photographs of the Fontenelle family, whose lives Gordon Parks documented as part of a 1968 Life magazine photo essay. A searing portrait of poverty in the United States, the Fontenelle photographs provide a view of Harlem through the narrative of a specific family at a particular moment in time.
Published by Steidl/The Art Institute of Chicago. Edited with text by Matthew S. Witkovsky. Text by Antawan Byrd, Florent Mazzoleni.
“Rich people, poor people, religious people, artists, musicians, everyone could become a hero at [Sanle’s] Volta studio.” —Florent Mazzoleni, The New York Times
The studio photographs of Sory Sanlé and his participation in the vibrant music scene in Bobo-Dioulasso give us a picture of a cosmopolitan city shaping its independent identity in the 1960s through to the ’80s, the heyday of West African independence movements. Vintage photographs, seven-inch record sleeves and studio accessories are all reproduced in the most extensive portrayal to date of photography and music as key popular art forms with local, national and international resonance. With the colorful full title of Volta Photo: Starring Sory Sanlé and the Good People of Bobo-Dioulasso in the Small but Musically Mighty African Country of Burkina Faso, this book also includes essays on photography and sound in Africa as well as a CD with hit songs by Volta Jazz, Echo del Africa Nacional and other star bands.
Born in Burkina Faso in 1943, Sory Sanlé runs a portrait studio in Bobo-Dioulasso. He opened his business in 1960, the year that Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) declared independence from France. For many years, Sanlé also organized music parties around the city; he served as the official photographer for Volta Jazz, a key popular music orchestra in the 1960s and ’70s.
Published by D.A.P./Tate. Edited with text by Mark Godfrey, Zoé Whitley. Contributions by Linda Goode Bryant, Susan E. Cahan, David Driskell, Edmund Barry Gaither, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Samella Lewis.
African American art in the era of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers
In the period of radical change that was 1963–83, young black artists at the beginning of their careers confronted difficult questions about art, politics and racial identity. How to make art that would stand as innovative, original, formally and materially complex, while also making work that reflected their concerns and experience as black Americans?
Soul of a Nation surveys this crucial period in American art history, bringing to light previously neglected histories of 20th-century black artists, including Sam Gilliam, Melvin Edwards, Jack Whitten, William T. Williams, Howardina Pindell, Romare Bearden, David Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Senga Nengudi, Noah Purifoy, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Charles White and Frank Bowling.
The book features substantial essays from Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, writing on abstraction and figuration, respectively. It also explores the art-historical and social contexts with subjects ranging from black feminism, AfriCOBRA and other artist-run groups to the role of museums in the debates of the period and visual art’s relation to the Black Arts Movement. Over 170 artworks by these and many other artists of the era are illustrated in full color.
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the first use of the term “black power” by student activist Stokely Carmichael; it will also be 50 years since the US Supreme Court overturned the prohibition of interracial marriage. At this turning point in the reassessment of African American art history, Soul of a Nation is a vital contribution to this timely subject.
Published by Fondation Cartier Pour L'Art Contemporain / Editions Xavier Barral. Text by André Magnin, Brigitte Ollier, Manthia Diawara, Robert Storr.
"If you had to describe Malick Sidibé’s photography in a single word, it might be joyous," Hayley Maitland writes in Vogue. And it's true: Xavier Barral's infectiously jubilant and show-stoppingly gorgeous Sidibé retrospective, Mali Twist, "pays tribute to a man who produced electrifyingly modern images of night life in the country’s capital, Bamako, in the 1960s and 70s." —Andrew Dickson, New York Times. "It’s hard not to look with envy at the party photographs of this great Malian photographer, where the dancing goes on until dawn and everyone is dressed to kill," Jason Farago writes in another New York Times review. "The fabulous cover image is just the beginning." —Victoria L. Valentine, Culture Type.
PUBLISHER Fondation Cartier Pour L'Art Contemporain / Editions Xavier Barral
BOOK FORMAT Clth, 7.75 x 10.25 in. / 296 pgs / 276 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 11/28/2017 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 32
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9782365111522TRADE List Price: $80.00 CDN $107.50
AVAILABILITY In stock
in stock $80.00
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
Published by Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston. Edited with foreword by Mark Sloan. Text by Sean Meighoo, Michael K. Wilson, Arturo Lindsay, Amanda H. Hellman.
Visible Man provides an in-depth look at the work of Atlanta-based artist Fahamu Pecou (born 1975) from the past two decades, showing how Pecou’s work investigates the concept of black masculinity and provides new modes for the representation of black bodies. Starting with his self-assumed persona “Fahamu Pecou is the Shit!” and his early NEOPOP works—in which he places himself on the covers of prestigious art and culture magazines—the catalog shows the trajectory of his work, ending with the DO or DIE and #BLACKMATTERLIVES series.
PUBLISHER Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston
BOOK FORMAT Slip, hbk, 7.75 x 10.75 in. / 174 pgs / 122 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 3/27/2018 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 111
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781532345074TRADE List Price: $34.95 CDN $45.95 GBP £30.00
AVAILABILITY In stock
in stock $34.95
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
Published by Worcester Art Museum. Foreword by David P. Angel, Matthias Waschek. Text by Nancy Kathryn Burns, Janette Thomas Greenwood, Frank J. Morrill.
An invaluable record of African American lives in the aftermath of Emancipation and Reconstruction
This book presents a photographic narrative of African American and Native American migration and resettlement in the aftermath of Emancipation and Reconstruction. Taken between 1897 and 1917 by itinerant photographer William Bullard of Worcester, Massachusetts, these photographs address larger themes involving race in American history, many of which remain relevant today: the story of people of color claiming their rightful place in society and creating a community in new surroundings.
William Bullard’s heretofore unpublished collection of more than 230 glass negatives presenting the African American and Nipmuc communities of Worcester, Massachusetts, at the turn of the century provides an exceptional opportunity to significantly deepen our understanding of the use of photography at a political and personal level. Unlike most extant photographic collections of black Americans taken in this period, the subjects in Bullard’s photographs are identified in his logbook, allowing this book to tell specific stories about individuals and re-create a more accurate historical context.
In addition, though most publications engaging with African American history focus on the Gilded Age or the Civil Rights eras, this collection of Bullard’s photographs exposes a critical gap in many visual histories. Predating the Great Migration, these photographs portray a moment seldom stressed in the historical narrative, replacing stereotypical notions of poverty and dysfunction with accomplishment and respectability.
Published by Reel Art Press. Edited by John Duke Kisch, Tony Nourmand. Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Text by John Duke Kisch, Peter Doggett. Afterword by Spike Lee.
This magnificent volume is a celebration of the first 100 years of black film poster art. A visual feast, these images recount the diverse and historic journey of the black film industry from the earliest days of Hollywood to the present day, accompanied by insightful accompanying text, a foreword by black history authority and renowned academic Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and an afterword by Hollywood director Spike Lee. These posters have meaning for young and old alike, and possess the power to transcend ethnicity. They capture the spirit and energy of an earlier time, reminding people of the pioneers of the past, those courageous and daring African American filmmakers, entertainers and artists whose dreams and struggles paved the way for future generations. The wealth of imagery on these pages is taken from the Separate Cinema Archive, maintained by archive director John Kisch. The most extensive private holdings of African-American film memorabilia in the world, it contains over 35,000 authentic movie posters and photographs from over 30 countries. This stunning coffee table book represents some of the archive's greatest highlights.
Images of a Revolution: Radical Jazz in the USA 1960-75
Published by Soul Jazz Books. Edited by Stuart Baker.
At the start of the 1960s, jazz entered a unique period of revolution as African-American musicians redefined the art form in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, Afro-centric rhythm and thought and an ideology of black economic empowerment. John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler and others developed a new cosmology of sound that was as revolutionary as the social and political changes that took place in America throughout the decade. From the musical explorations of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman to the collective and community concerns of Chciago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the black science fiction of Sun Ra, the new jazz musicians created a musical and cultural landscape from which jazz never looked back. This large-format deluxe hardback book features hundreds of stunning photographs of the new jazz musicians in the USA throughout the 1960s, presented with an introductory essay and biographies on the many artists included in the book.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Edited by Leah Dickerman, Elsa Smithgall. Text by Elizabeth Alexander, Rita Dove, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa, Patricia Spears Jones, Natasha Trethewey, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Crystal Williams, Kevin Young.
Lawrence's landmark series on African American migration in context
In 1941, Jacob Lawrence, then just 23 years old, made a series of 60 small tempera paintings on the Great Migration, the decades-long mass movement of black Americans from the rural South to the urban North that began in 1915–16. The child of migrant parents, Lawrence worked partly from his own experience and partly from long research in his neighborhood library. The result was an epic narrative of the collective history of his people. Moving from scenes of terror and violence to images of great intimacy, and drawing on film, photography, political cartoons and other sources in popular culture, Lawrence created an innovative format of sequential panels, each image accompanied by a descriptive caption. Within months of its completion, the series entered the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Phillips Memorial Gallery (today The Phillips Collection), Washington, DC, each institution acquiring 30 panels.
The Migration Series is now a landmark in the history of modern art. Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series, now in paperback, grounds Lawrence’s work in the cultural and political debates that shaped his art and demonstrates its relevance for artists and writers today. The series is reproduced in full; short texts accompanying each panel relate them to the history of the Migration and explore Lawrence’s technique and approach. Alongside scholarly essays, the book also includes 11 newly commissioned poems, by Rita Dove, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa, Patricia Spears Jones, Natasha Trethewey, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Crystal Williams and Kevin Young, that respond directly to the series. The distinguished poet Elizabeth Alexander edited and introduces the section.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Edited with text by Dieter Buchhart.
Language in the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, from graffiti to word as motif
In the wild New York of the 1980s, Jean-Michel Basquiat was the first African-American artist to receive art-world attention. The complexity and trailblazing innovative power of his paintings has been widely discussed, but this book focuses on the treatment of language in Basquiat’s ouevre. With its complex structures, spontaneous rhythms and sampled, collage-like manifestations, his work was drawn into the orbit of the Beat Generation poets and the protagonists of the musical avant-garde. The multitalented Basquiat created a shimmering, syncopated fabric of images and text, which the American curator and critic Robert Storr aptly called “eye rap.” It was with this unpretentious and spontaneous way of working that Basquiat rewrote art history.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) grew up in Brooklyn. His first notoriety came when he was making street paintings under the tag SAMO. Later he stormed the gallery world, and became an icon of New York's vibrant early-80s downtown scene, a friend to and collaborator with Andy Warhol and Francesco Clemente, and the cover boy for a 1985 New York Times Magazine story on the new art market. His death following a heroin overdose at 27 did not by any means decrease interest in his work, which was recently the subject of a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, New York.