Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat continues to command attention thirty years after his death. His continued notoriety is due to his mythic past, his prolific art creation pace because he broke through art barriers as a black man and definitely because no one had seen art like his before. His charismatic personality, seemingly boundless energy and hip style have kept him an icon since he rose to fame in mid-1980’s.
There have already been three films made about Basquiat as well as numerous books. This film is unique for two reasons, it tells the story of his early teen years and his voice is not heard in the film at all.
NPR aired a brief interview and story with the film’s director, Sara Driver. Although the film features footage of Basquiat painting and going about his daily life, she explained that she chose not to feature Basquiat speaking because she wanted him to appear more as a ghost or apparition. This film interviews his friends, coworkers, and colleagues from the early years of exploration into the world of art and New York City during a tumultuous era of debt and decline.
The film opens nationwide on May 11th.