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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2001
Unlike the popular movie "Basquiat" and other convoluted accountings of the artist's life, this book is a part of the "real deal" of what went down --- written by the author with the help of Basquiat's girlfriend of the time --two figures who were really there and in the artist's life well before he was ever heard of or given any serious attention by the likes of Warhol or anyone else with a famous name. This book is free of the hype and distortion that has sadly compromised other descriptions of what really went down. The book also depicts some of the rawness and flavor of what was happening in the East Village/Lower East Side during that time period.
The book is written in a poetically hypnotic style utilizing a structure of short passages for easy reading. Hard to put it down once started. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2001
When I read this book I could not put it down...I had always been a fan of Jean Michel Basquiat's work and so was very curious to read this book. This book was absolutely beautifully written. It has a very poetic, surreal, childlike quality to it....the style it is written in resembles the style the artist painted in...It is clear that this author was intimately acquainted with both Jean Michael and Suzanne. This book is far from a journalistic accounting of the is about the feeelings, the smells, the tastes....this book is a sensory account of the takes the reader back is amazingly moving. Bravo to Jennifer Clement. I am sure to hear more of her very soon. She is a brilliant writer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2010
knowing the parties involved. i was deeply touched and moved by this love story and psychological mining of its subjects. this is an invaluable insight to the back story behind an incredibly important artist living through a period of new york city history while honestly addressing the drugs that were so much a part of driving production of so many artists at the time. Basquiat was no exception to this and certainly not alone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Unlike other books about Basquiat, this story, Widow Basqiat, is about Suzanne Mallouk and her stormy relationship with the young artist. This is a sparely written, almost poetic view of a relationship between two people, one of which was deemed a talented artist, and the other was known as his muse. This book also captures the underground culture of New York in the 1980s with vivid scenes of the drugs, parties, creative energy and lives lived on the edge.

This story is a harrowing story of a young girl who leaves an abusive household to go live in New York where she meets Jean-Michel and endures the highs and lows of living with an artist and drug addict. At times, Jean-Michel can't live with Suzanne but can't live without her. Jean-Michel comes across as childlike at times, a raving madman at others, but all in all, the driving force of his life was his art. He would leave her for days at a time and take up with other people and he always had a steady supply of drugs which he shared profusely with her.

There are other colorful characters in this book, as well as the notoriously famous, such as Madonna and Andy Warhol who also had close relationships with Basquiat. Suzanne shows a great strength in character in this sparse book, but ultimately this a sad tale of her relationship with a talented and famous black artist who found fame and notoriety far beyond his days of a SOMA street artist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 27, 2014
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"Widow Basquiat: A Love Story" by Jennifer Clement is a hypnotic collection of memories in haunting prose and poetry. I was able to discover who Suzanne Mallouk, Jean-Michel Basquiat's lover and muse is, and a look at Basquiat as only Suzanne could provide for us. I was also provided with a view of the other people in the lives of Suzanne and Jean-Michel.

What we get are little snapshots of the Widow Basquiat's life from before they met until after his death. The snapshot give us just enough to understand both Suzanne and Jean-Michel as well as their relationship and their love. Basquiat's art is a powerful testament to his creative genius and to the bridge Suzanne created between the artist's vision and his hands.

As an artist, I understand the strange, unique, and the creative mind of Jean-Michel. I can sympathize with Suzanne's emotional struggle with him. Being in a relationship with an artist is not the easiest kind of person to love, or stay with. With new art always erupting in the artist's brains to look at, how can the creative one always see everything going on in the real world too? Suzanne was not only Basquiat's muse, she was the key to his creative evolution.

This is a short book but immense with the love Suzanne still has for Jean-Michel. A special book for those who hold a fondness for the magic of Basquiat's life and work who want to know more about the woman who stayed with him, even when they were apart.

The movie "Basquiat" is a movie based on a life. "Widow Baquiat" is real.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2014
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Absurd. Gritty. Well chosen from the memorabilia around black American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat who was of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent and his relationship with Canadian runaway Suzanne Mallouk whose father was an Arab. Well, their ethnicities seem to figure importantly in this small book. What is this fascination with supposedly famous people, anyway?

This piece is not just about the drug-addled (and/or possibly mentally ill) artist and his strange, pliable young girlfriend, but about the 1980s New York City scene; it is existential - you really get the feeling of that life. Actually, this is one part of life in The City, as so many of its denizens still lived as they always had - their small, conservative lives confined by a few blocks of neighborhood while ignoring adjacent craziness and alternative life styles.

I had moved young and alone from a small rural village 200 miles north, to NYC a decade or so earlier, so I know what an intense, unsettling, iconoclastic, avant-garde place it can be - a place where anonymity confers sudden freedom and new alliances are magic.

To put aspects of it into words? Well, this does and in a non-judgmental, spare manner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
After viewing the Jean-Michel Basquiat's documentary film, The Radiant Child and viewing the motion picture based on his life, Basquiat I became instantly drawn to Basquiat's life story and his work. I bought this book for more insight on the man and the artist. This book is a quick read and it really does a great job in providing snapshots into the life of one of the greatest, most innovative visual artists to ever live. Whether you are conducting research on Basquiat or just want to know more about him, this book is a must-read. It is kooky, cerebral, tragic, melancholy, funny, and most of all poignant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 22, 2014
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
While I enjoyed the poetic style of many of the short chapters in this book, the primary subject of this book was not the artist Basquiat, but rather his live-in girl friend Suzanne Mallouk. Basquiat was always snorting coke or womanizing, often disappearing for several days before showing back up, and Suzanne herself often snorted coke with him.

The paragraphs are either in simple prose, third-person, or they are italicized and are in first-person, as told by Suzanne. After a while I preferred reading the italicized paragraphs. I certainly could not feel empathy for the couple.

This is a very short book that can be read in a few hours. It's best recommended for Basquiat fans. For people unfamiliar with Basquiat and his works, this leaves them hanging. I didn't think this book brought out the man's true character.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2002
This is a surprisingly light read of a heavy topic that gives a unique, inside view of life with the artist, Jean-Michael Basquiat. It is an even better book when read as a success story of a woman who ultimately left an unhealthy relationship. Since it covers her childhood as well as her relationship with Basquiat and her attempts to move away from him you get a little bit of insight as to why she would be attracted to this type of person. When you finish the book you will have learned about the sensationalized artist but you will also learn a story about a very successful woman who wasn't quite as interesting to the public only because she was strong and overcame adversity instead of wallowing in it. She is probably not as famous as her ex-beau because she didn't die of an overdose, but such is our culture.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2002
I have been a fan of Basquiat for a long time. I am an artist as well. I have always been intrested in his life and have a lot of books on him and his art and his life. I found this book to be about a totally different perspective. Not only a womens persepctive but a women who was a muse to him. This book does not paint a glorified Picture of him...or a star struck tragic picture of him. It is about Susan and her plight with life, and him being a big part of it. The book is extremely poetic, very dark, sad, melancholy...but above all MOVING. I read it in less than 24 hours. I applaud Jennifer Clement
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