Boom for Real – Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Barbican

Basquiat at the Barbican until the 28th January 2018

Basquiat is famous for his self-portraits. Though he died at just 27, he managed in his brief span to create work that appeals to millions, intertwining the history of art and poetry with the contemporary street art of a tumultuous New York in the late 70s and early 80s. His painting Untitled sold at Sotheby’s this year for $111 million, making it the most expensive American artwork ever sold!

Basquiat was prolific and his paintings were popular in his lifetime, but the great and good were slow to recognise his talent. Head curators admit today that, in hindsight, they could not fit his work into the canon of art history, and so rejected it when it was offered to them.

So what makes Basquiat today one of the most important artists of the 20th century? This question will lead our exploration. The exhibition is also rounded out by rare film, photography and archive material, making it one of the most interesting in town.

Where:  The Barbican, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS
Visit time: approx. ninety minutes

To book for this tour: