Category: Basquiat

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Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by

Chalkie Davies

in London, 1984. 

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Madonna and Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Glenn O’Brien, 1982.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna photographed by Stephen Torton, 1982.

Madonna and Basquiat dated for a while, but his heroin addiction ended up pulling them apart. “He was an amazing man and deeply talented. I loved him,” she said. “When I broke up with him, he made me give all [his paintings] back to him. And then he painted over them black.” She regrets giving the art back, but felt pressured to do so since it was something he had created. (The Howard Stern Show, March 2015)

Madonna: “Basquiat was my boyfriend for a while, and I remember getting up in the middle of the night and he wouldn’t be in bed lying next to me; he’d be standing, painting, at four in the morning, this close to the canvas, in a trance. I was blown away by that, that he worked when he felt moved. And they gave jobs to everyone. Keith would meet kids on the street and ask them to come stretch his canvases for him. Basquiat had every B-boy and every graffiti artist in his loft. He was constantly giving everything away. I think they felt guilty that they became successful and were surrounded by people who were penniless, so they shared what they had. They were incredibly generous people, and that rubbed off on me. You stay inspired that way. I could never work in a recording studio where you have this lovely view and a beach and the waves are crashing. For me, it’s all about being in a tiny room with little windows. It’s almost like you have to be in a prison. And you can create beauty when you’re in that sort of deprived environment, which is a re-creation of your formative years.”

“I remember having conversations with Keith [Haring] and with Basquiat about the importance of your art being accessible to people,“ she recalled. “That was their big thing—it should be available to everyone. It was so important for Keith to be able to draw on subways and walls. And Basquiat used to say to me, ‘You’re so lucky that you make music, because music comes out of radios everywhere.’ He thought that what I did was more pop, more connected to pop culture than what he did. Little did he know that his art would become pop culture. But it’s not like we really had discussions about the meaning of art. I remember hearing them talk about those things.”

(Interview Magazine, December 2014)

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Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Brad Branson, 1984.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna while they were dating, circa 1983.

Photo by Maripol

Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Louis Jammes in Paris, 1988.  

Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat at Warhol’s studio at 860 Broadway in New York City on April 23, 1984.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Evelyn Hofer for Vogue, 1985.

Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Yutaka Sakano in Tokyo for Issey Miyake in 1983.

Yutaka Sakano: “One day in July 1983, I received a phone call from Midori Kitamura, Issey Miyake’s assistant who was in charge of press relations at the time. She tells me that a young artist named Basquiat, who has become a sensation in New York, was coming to Japan, and she asked me if I could photograph him for a men’s fashion magazine. I immediately reserve studio # 8 in the basement of Studio Azabu, which no longer exists today. The day of the shooting, I loaded in my car a hand made backdrop and went to the rendezvous in a good mood. This is the first time I met Basquiat. I did not know anything about him. He looks like a wonderful young man. He takes the initiative during the shooting, improvising all kinds of poses. It is also the first time he meets me, and we did not speak each other language, having to opt instead for hand gestures communication. He did his best to comply with the guidelines given by the Japanese photographer that I am. Even though the photos are for color publication, I always take black and white photos for my own use. And if I find the subject particularly interesting, all the shooting is also done in B&W.” 

Jean-Michel Basquiat at Madonna’s Like a Virgin record release party in New York City on November 12, 1984.

Photos by Andy Warhol