Huffpost Arts

Jean-Michel Basquiat At Gagosian: Major Exhibition Reviews Meteoric Prodigy's Brief Career (PHOTOS)

Posted: Updated:

Since his untimely death in 1988, the art world has endured a maddening obsession with Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the latest installment of all things SAMO-related, Gagosian Gallery's new exhibition examines over 50 works from the Haitian-American art star.

basquiat gagosian

At 15 years old, the artist ran away from home and became a staple of New York City's underground arts scene. He began as a graffiti artist under the SAMO pseudonym, making critical and ironic quips with semi-coherent jabs such as "SAMO©… 4 THE SO-CALLED AVANT-GARDE." It wasn't long before Basquiat turned to painting, keeping his knack for re-appropriation, rhythm and aggression firmly intact.

With the charisma of a rock star, he cozied up to artists like Andy Warhol and even briefly dated Madonna. Yet his cultish personality only supplemented his singular artistic language, at once unique and patched together from infinite scavenged influences. Basquiat found fodder for his work everywhere, from anatomy books and ancient mythology to cultural fissures. Part uncrackable code and part instinctual expression, his works are simultaneously complex and simple, aggressive and naïve, which at the time cast the young artist in the role of a prophetic prodigy worthy of idolatry.

In the years following Basquiat's overdose at 27, his fame skyrocketed despite (or perhaps because of) the problematic association with his "urban primitive" style. Regardless of how he is pigeonholed, however, the cultish fascination surrounding his work doesn't seem to be abating anytime soon.

Jean-Michel Basquiat will show until April 6 at Gagosian Gallery in New York.

See a preview of the works in the slideshow below and let us if you think he lives up to the hype.

Close
Jean-Michel Basquiat
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Around the Web

Jean-Michel Basquiat A New Major Exhibition At Gagosian New York

Basquiat at Gagosian Gallery

The Eight-Day Week: Fashion Week Edition

Art exhibits in 2013 you've got to check out

Parsing Gagosian: The Six Best Quotes From NYMag's Epic Profile of the Art ...

February Exhibitions 2013: 10 New Must-See Art Shows To Beat The Cold ...

10 Former Art Sensations That the Market Has Left Behind