The Brooklyn Museum's never-before-seen insight into Basquiat’s sketchbooks

Date
8 April 2015
Reading Time
1 minute read

There are few artists who have had the impact in their entire careers that Jean-Michel Basquiat achieved in his 28 years. The self-taught Brooklyn-born artist was inspired by everything he came into contact with, creating work influenced by hip-hop, politics, advertising and children’s drawings to perfectly encapsulate the culture he inhabited. As such his notebooks – filled with sketches, fragments of poetry and personal observations about race, class and culture – have been elevated to the status of sacred relics. Luckily for us, these relics are currently on show at The Brooklyn Museum, offering a never-before-seen glimpse into his inner life.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is on show at The Brooklyn Museum in NYC until 23 August.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Untitled(Crown), 1982. Acrylic, ink, and paper collage on paper, 20 × 29 in. (50.8 × 73.66 cm). Private collection, courtesy of Lio Malca. Copyright © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all rights reserved. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo: Mark Woods

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Untitled Notebook Page, 1980–81. Ink on ruled notebook paper, 9 5/8 × 7 5/8 in. (24.5 × 19.4 cm). Collection of Larry Warsh. Copyright © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all rights reserved. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Untitled, 1985. Xerox collage on wood box, 11 1/8 × 8 1/2 × 8 1/2 in. (28.26 × 21.59 × 21.59 cm). Collection of Larry Warsh. Copyright © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all rights reserved. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Above

Tseng Kwong Chi: Jean-Michel Basquiat in his Great Jones Street studio, New York, 1987. Chromogenic print, 50 × 50 in. (127 × 127 cm). Muna Tseng Dance Projects, New York & Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, New York. © 1987 Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc. New York.

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About the Author

Maisie Skidmore

Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 as an intern before joining full time as an Assistant Editor. Maisie left It’s Nice That in July 2015.

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