Basquiat : The Radiant Child


Last night I watched Jean-Michel Basquiat : The Radiant Child, and I am still not sure what I want to say about it. So this will take shape as I write. While I have been relatively familiar with Basquiat’s work for a number of years, I was not particularly familiar with “his story”, with his startling youth and genius. I find his work remarkable. When I juxtapose the brilliance and depth of it with the youth of its maker, I am blown away. The breadth of information and understanding of this young man is really remarkable. And he was a complete autodidact. He absorbed knowledge, processed it artistically and created these astounding works that are beautiful, frightening, unfathomable. That he lacked a real support system to deal with his sudden fame, that his genius made for such a sensitive soul, that he died so, so young is heartbreaking. He created so much in such a brief period of time. Would love to have the opportunity to one day stand before one of his paintings. Wow.

This film is available to stream online through several sites. I ended up using Amazon as the streaming quality was better. Oh! And the soundtrack! Incredible. Left my whole body humming.

5 comments on “Basquiat : The Radiant Child”

  1. Thanks for your introduction to Basquait’s work. I will try to watch the film. I found some of his paintings online. I would need to sit in front of an original for a long time to take in all the intricacies of his work. His story is tragic.

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  2. Thanks, JNaz. I’ll look for it on Amazon. I have known of him for a long time. It seems his story comes across differently, depending on who’s telling it. Wasn’t there just a piece in Hyperallergic about an exhibit of his work in a gallery in NYC, and didn’t it touch on some of this problematic stuff? Who honors his work and who exploits the drama in his life story? That kind of thing.

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    1. Yes, Teri, there was. Which is what steered me to explore. I think, setting all of the extraneous aside, that his work is extraordinary. Especially in view of its depth and his youth.

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