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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 (detail)

Work / Exhibition

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

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

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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.