"In 1979, a young Jean-Michel Basquiat was spreading his tag, SAMO, throughout downtown Manhattan and roaming the nightclubs and bars of the East Village. When he moved into a sixth-floor walkup on East 12th with Alexis Adler, a young scientist and amateur photographer, the apartment became a site of artistic experimentation: Basquiat painted every surface, made sculpture from trash dragged from the street, filled dozens of notebooks, and staged performances, all captured by Adler's camera or salvaged for her archive. Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980 surveys the life and work of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat as he emerged as a pioneering and virtuosic painter and performer. Published in conjunction with the MCA Denver exhibition of the same title, this book tells the story of what unfolded within apartment F8 and how the creative impulses evident in Basquiat's home spilled into the streets of the neighborhood. Basquiat Before Basquiat features never-before-published photographs, and creative and critical texts exploring a moment that shaped Basquiat's artistic practice"--
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Nora Burnett Abrams is a curator at MCA Denver.
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