Basquiat comes to London’s Barbican with Boom for Real, an exhibition well overdue and nothing short of sensational. Astoundingly, not one of his works are held in a public collection and have had little exposure in the UK. This mega-show exhibits over 100 of his works, brought together with the help from international museums and private collections.
Before his tragic death in 1988, Basquiat gained attention after he and friend Al Diaz began to graffiti enigmatic statements across the city, collectively using the pseudonym SAMO©. After this the pair went separate ways artistically and Basquiat began to produce drawings, paintings and collages. He painted on clothing, made drawings with his own blood and produced murals and installations for notorious New York nightclubs.
His rising among the hedonistic New York scene of the 1980’s and his famous collaborating with Andy Warhol is documented perfectly in this exhibition and brings together a wide range of his works and their relation to music, television and film, writing and performance. And highlights his dynamic artistic range in a flawlessly executed show.
In May a painting by him sold at a Sotheby’s New York auction for more than $100 million, making Basquiat not only the highest-selling black artist ever but also one of the top five highest-selling artists of all time.