Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

This new account of the young Brooklyn artist was on at the Film Forum in New York last month. We were lucky enough to see it on its last day.

An official selection for the Sundance Film Festival this year, The Radiant Child sets itself apart from earlier biopics (eg Julian Schabnel’s) portraying the artist’s life. Interviews with Larry Gagosian and Annina Nosei among others, quintessential in the nurturing of the artist, capture a striking image of innocence and fragility. Davis uses yet unseen footage of a rare interview with the artist. With minimal focus on the artist’s lifestyle and suicide ,which seem to have largely defined our perception of him, instead there is a stress on the production and content of his art. Despite his clear prolificness, contemplation and intellectual reckoning define Basquiat here, replacing my earlier view of him as stylistically haphazard.

I am not certain when or where the film will show here, nonetheless it is available from next month on Amazon.

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