There isn’t a better time to appreciate the legacy and work of one of America’s greatest contemporary artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat. RAIN previously tapped art critic Andrianna Campbell-LaFleur to examine one of the greatest break-through collaborative shows, Warhol x Basquiat. Now, his family is presenting an exhibition of never before seen work Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure© which will open in early Spring 2022 at the landmark Starrett-Lehigh Building.
Over two hundred never before and rarely seen paintings, drawings, and artifacts will create a narrative that only his family could tell. His sisters, Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux along with their stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick organized the show and run his estate.
“We wanted to bring his work and personality forward, in a way only his family can, for people to immerse themselves in,” shares Lisane. “We want this to be a multi-dimensional celebration of Jean-Michel’s life.”
Jean-Michel and his work are touchstones of NYC. The city is not only his birthplace, but also the backdrop of his meteoric career, making it the ideal location for this exhibition. Jean-Michel ushered in a golden era of boundary-defying art that continues to inspire youth culture across the world.
His contributions to the history of art and his exploration into our multifaceted culture – incorporating music, the Black experience, pop culture, Black American sports figures, literature, and more – will be showcased through immersive environments providing an intimate look into Jean-Michel’s creative life and unique voice that propelled the social and cultural narrative that continues to this day.
“This exhibition showcasing the man behind the icon has been years in the making, from the initial idea in 2017 around the 30th anniversary of Jean-Michel’s passing to now,” Jeanine illustrates. “There’s been many exhibitions of Jean-Michel’s work, but never told from the perspective of the family – Jean-Michel as a child, a man, a son, and a brother. As we were all in lockdown, we said: ‘Maybe now is the right time.’”