Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

April 2, 2010

In this 90 minute film, director Tamra Davis picks up where Julian Schnabel’s (amazing) version of the artists life left off. This film pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense, bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while minimalist, conceptual art was the fad; as a successful black artist, he was constantly confronted by racism and misconceptions. Much can be gleaned from insider interviews and archival footage, but it is Basquiat’s own words and work that powerfully convey the mystique and allure of both the artist and the man.

I got a chance to see his work at the MOCA in 2005. To see the work up close and to understand the scale of his pieces is truly an honored experience. The trailer alone is a masterpiece. Hearing Charlie Parker while watching Basquiat paint is inspiring. For any fan of his work, this film should be high on your “go see” list when it comes to your town.

jean-michelbasquiat the radiant child
Art House Films

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