Watch Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
- 1 hr 30 min
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is a 2010 documentary film that chronicles the life and career of the iconic American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Directed by Tamra Davis, the film features archival footage and interviews with Basquiat, as well as interviews with notable figures from the art world who knew him, including artist Julian Schnabel and art dealer Larry Gagosian.
The documentary begins by providing viewers with a brief glimpse into Basquiat's background and upbringing in Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of a Haitian immigrant father and a Puerto Rican mother, and his parents split up when he was young, leaving him to live with his father. He dropped out of school at the age of 17 and began to immerse himself in the gritty, bohemian art and music scene of New York City in the late 70s and early 80s.
The film then explores Basquiat's early years as a graffiti artist, where he gained notoriety for his SAMOÂ© tag, which he would spray paint across walls and buildings throughout New York City. The documentary features rare footage of Basquiat out on the streets, spray painting and interacting with other graffiti artists.
The film then shifts its focus to Basquiat's transition from street artist to fine artist. With the help of his friend and mentor Andy Warhol, Basquiat began to gain widespread recognition in the art world for his unique style, which incorporated elements of graffiti, African art, and popular culture. The film features interviews with contemporary artists who were influenced by Basquiat's work, such as Fred Brathwaite (a.k.a. Fab 5 Freddy) and Lee QuiÃ±ones.
One of the strengths of the film is the amount of archival footage of Basquiat that it includes â viewers get a real sense of his charisma and creative energy through his interviews and interactions with others. He is shown in a variety of settings, from art galleries to nightclubs to his studio, and we get a sense of how he was both revered and misunderstood during his lifetime.
Another interesting aspect of the documentary is the way it delves into the racial politics of the art world at the time. Basquiat was one of the few black artists to achieve mainstream success in the early 1980s, but he was often criticized for being too commercial or for "selling out." The film explores the tension between his desire for fame and recognition and his roots in the street art scene, where art was created for its own sake and not for profit or prestige.
Overall, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is a compelling and insightful portrait of a truly original artist. Through its use of archival footage and interviews with those who knew him, the film captures both the brilliance and the tragedy of Basquiat's life and career. It is a must-see for fans of his work, as well as anyone interested in the history of contemporary art.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 74.