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Born in Brooklyn in1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat was only twenty-seven when he died, his meteoric and often controversial career having lasted for just eight years. Despite his early death, Basquiat's large and powerful oeuvre has ensured his continuing reputation as one of modern art's most distinctive and eloquent voices. Borrowing from graffiti and street imagery, cartoons, mythology and religious symbolism, Basquiat's drawings and paintings explore issues of race and identity, providing social commentary that is shrewdly observed and biting. This book examines and celebrates the achievements of one of the most original artists of the late twentieth century and features spectacular reproductions of Basquiat's work. Many of Basquiat's individual works are explored in detail, with particular reference to his working methods and techniques. New perspectives on Basquiat's achievements, explored in the contexts of the key influences on his work, help to make this an indispensable book that will appeal to anyone interested in contemporary art.
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Marc Meyer, formerly Deputy Director for Art, Brooklyn Museum, is Director of the Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal. He is a noted critic and curator of contemporary art.Review:
Each essay provides the reader with a different viewpoint on the man and his work, providing a critical insight for anyone who has an interest in Basquiat and the art world at the time he came to prominence in the 80's. — Magik City
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