Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art

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9780670854776: Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art

Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was the Jimi Hendrix of the art world: in less than a decade he went from being a teenage graffiti writer to an international art star; he was dead of a drug overdose at age twenty-seven. A legend in his own lifetime, Basquiat's meteoric success and overnight burnout were an instant art-world myth; his brief career spanned the giddy '80s art boom and epitomized its outrageous excess, from its art dealers to its drug dealers, from its clubs to its galleries, from Madonna to Warhol. And the legend endures: the 1980s art world enfant terrible became the subject of the 1996 film Basquiat, starring Jeffrey Wright, Dennis Hopper, and David Bowie. Basquiat, the first biography of this prolific and charismatic figure, charts his trajectory from his troubled childhood to his volatile passage through the white art world of dealers and nouveau riche collectors. It is also the evocation of an era--one that fueled Basquiat's hyperactive rise to stardom and sadly predicable death.

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Review:

This minutely reported book is as much a portrait of the frenzied, prodigal New York art world of the 1980s as it is a biography of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died of a drug overdose at age 27 in 1988. Basquiat, one of very few African American artists to acquire an international reputation, left a thick web of dealers, collectors, friends, lovers, paintings, drawings, and used syringes behind him. Author Phoebe Hoban seems to have unblinkingly interviewed or examined them all. While she duly registers Basquiat's sad childhood, with his unstable Puerto Rican mother and punishing Haitian father, she doesn't make much of the deeper veins of sorrow and self-destruction that may have motivated the artist and informed his art. Rather, she allows his celebrity, which whisked him from street urchin to art star, to be the central trajectory of this story. The Warhol protégé would probably approve, as he was the primary obliterator of his own psychological depths, throwing away his short, phenomenally productive life in the edgy club and drug scene of downtown Manhattan. The miracle is that Basquiat was so good, and so serious, an artist, surrounded as he was by hype and cash. Hoban's book is a fluid, intricate, authoritative dissection of a time, a place, and--almost--a person. --Peggy Moorman

About the Author:

Phoebe Hoban is a New York-based journalist. She is the author of several books, including a biography of the artist Alice Neel.

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Hoban, Phoebe
Editore: Viking Adult (1998)
ISBN 10: 0670854778 ISBN 13: 9780670854776
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Descrizione libro Viking Adult, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110670854778

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Phoebe Hoban
Editore: Viking Adult (1998)
ISBN 10: 0670854778 ISBN 13: 9780670854776
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Descrizione libro Viking Adult, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0670854778

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Hoban, Phoebe
Editore: Viking Adult
ISBN 10: 0670854778 ISBN 13: 9780670854776
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Descrizione libro Viking Adult. Condizione libro: Brand New. FREE domestic ground shipping. Fast priority express available. Tracking service included. Ships from USA (United States of America). Codice libro della libreria 0670854778

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