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Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies) [Kindle Edition]

Eric Fretz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jean-Michel Basquiat was barely out of his teens when he rocketed to the center of New York's art scene. He was 27 when he died of a heroin overdose. Always controversial, Basquiat is now established as a major contemporary painter whose unique work continues to enthrall.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Biography covers the artist's Brooklyn childhood, his teenage years as a homeless graffiti painter, and his rise through the art world. Along with a discussion of his life and work, including his use of Afrocentric themes, the book offers background on related contemporary art movements. Special attention is given to Basquiat's friendship with Keith Haring and collaborations with Andy Warhol. The book also explores Basquiat's difficult relations with gallery owners and other authority figures, his problems with drug use, and his early death. A final chapter covers his continuing relevance and ongoing influence.

Editorial Reviews


"Like his heroes musicians Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, African American artist Basquiat (1960-1988) was considered a creative genius and died young of a drug overdose. A veteran observer of the New York art scene traces his rise from troubled NY subway graffiti tagger to friend of Andy Warhol and iconic New York Times Magazine cover image in 1985. Fretz also discusses his legacy as a major contemporary artist. The biography includes a timeline of events in Basquiat's life, sources, and a list of his works."


Reference & Research Book News

Book Description

Jean-Michel Basquiat has been called arrogant, paranoid, manipulated—and a manipulator. Some think his talent was overrated. What is not debatable is that he is a major figure in the contemporary art world. Museum retrospectives and gallery shows of Basquiat's work have opened every year since his death, while, on November 12, 2008, his Untitled sold for over $13 million.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1825 KB
  • Print Length: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (March 23, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EQ7M92K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,270 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book February 22, 2014
By V. P.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This young man handsome, very intelligent, talented and aware of race relations of his time. I enjoyed this account of the prolific artist, I would have liked to see more information about his mother. The pictures included in this read were great though there weren't many. It's so sad how fame has a double edged sword so to speak. I found some typos in the book which is always annoying, but the content was superb.
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More About the Author

Eric Fretz is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. He studied art and art history at Hampshire College, Amherst MA, and the Art Students League and CUNY Graduate School at Hunter College in New York City. He also spent several years living in London working for the National Health Service. He is a long-time observer of the New York art scene. Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Biography is his first book for young adults. Eric is now active in Brooklyn for Peace. He is currently working on projects on Marek Edelman and Keith Haring, and contributes to several blogs and websites, including


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