Review: Basquiat - A Graphic Novel by Paolo Parisi


"Cool, talented and transgressive, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s life is just as fascinating as the work he produced. Delve into 1980s New York as this vivid graphic novel takes you on Basquiat’s journey from street-art legend SAMO to international art-scene darling, up until his sudden death. Told through cinematic scenes, this is Basquiat as seen through the eyes of those who knew him, including his father, Suzanne Mallouk, Larry Gagosian and, most importantly, the man himself. Basquiat is a moving depiction of a troubled artist’s life for those interested in both the art and the man who made it."

Those who love Basquiat's art style will want to read this one. For those looking for inspiration or philosophy behind his work... those might come up disappointed. For while there was a desire to be counterculture and question societal values via his art during his early days, the book seems to indicate that Basquiat in his latter career stage was obsessed with fame. This led him down a few crooked roads.

This book also sheds light on those who tried to take advantage of Basquiat, the racism he faced and how the art world works in general.




While I love the historical side of this book, I find the Basquiat's story not to be as unique as I was expecting. He was a talent that got lost in drugs and booze... became taken over with fame and overwork due to the overwhelming influence of people who had no interest in him.

The book is an interesting read, though. Recommended for though in love with anything that has to do with art and similar creative endeavours.

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