To the world Basquiat was an artist with a unique touch, however to his family he was a caring man and so much more. His two sister’s Lisane and Jeanine Basquiat along with their step mother Nora Fitzpatrick, curated an exhibit in his honor “Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure.” The immersive environment provides a unique insight into the late artist’s creative life and perspective that propelled a social and cultural narrative that continues to this day.
Born to Haitian father Gerard and Puerto Rican mother Matilda Andrades, raised in Brooklyn, Basquiat was known for his rambunctious art and flair. Jean Michel Basquiat was an ’80s artist who was part of the neo-expressionism movement and pop culture. His contributions extend beyond art and history but phenomenas such a music, the Black experience, Black American sports figures, literature, and more.
You may have heard his name referenced in a slew of rap songs such as Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby” with lyrics, “Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner.” Another song featuring the late artist’s name is Rick Ross’s “Heartless” (Remix) rapping, “Paintings on the wall, Basquiat is her favorite.”
His sisters spent the last five years organizing over 200 never before seen paintings, childhood drawings, photographs, his personal collection of African figures and artifacts to tell the story of Jean-Michel. From a personal perspective, the “King Pleasure” experience intertwines his artistic endeavors with his personal life, influences, and the times in which he lived.
“I think Jean-Michel has become to some people, this mythical person,” Lisane said. “There are stories told about him, friends that he had, and that kind of thing. But the real story of who he was, was something that we wanted to provide more information about…it was really important for us to bring a little bit more intimacy to who Jean-Michel was.”
Through the exhibit, it’s his sisters’s wish to give a fresh look into their brother’s life and uphold his legacy.
The exhibit is located in NYC. For tickets and more information visit kingpleasure.basquiat.com.