Desperately Seeking Basquiat

  • Author: Ian Castello-Cortes
  • Publish Year: 2019
  • Format: hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 128
How much do we really know Jean-Michel Basquiat? Who was he, where did he come from, where did he hang out? Desperately Seeking Basquiat lets readers explore the most significant locations of his life. We learn that he wasn’t from an impoverished neighborhood, as is sometimes assumed, but from the respectable, professional middle class Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn. He spent time in his mother’s native Puerto Rico as a child. He went to a private school for a few years. And then, yes, he ran away from home and lived with the junkies sleeping rough in Washington Square Park. On the way we meet the cast of characters that came in and out of Basquiat’s life – not just Warhol, but Debby Harry, Madonna, William Burroughs, Gianni Versace, Francesco Clemente and Keith Haring. And in the midst of these, the art dealers, impressarios and gallerists that knew how to take Basquiat’s talent and turn it fast into millions of dollars. We discover some unexpected places: Basquiat spent time in Modena, Italy, and a lot of time in Zurich and loved detox trips to the Far East and Hawaii; this is far from just a New York story. Later on he travelled to Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, in search of a new direction. Full of fascinating locations and scene photos from the heady art world of late ‘70s and ‘80s NYC, and as with the other titles in the series, Desperately Seeking Basquiat also features great maps, short punchy texts and insightful quotes from Basquiat’s contemporaries. For anyone into Basquiat, this delicious volume, with its cute format, really packs a punch.