Film & Talk: American Masters—Basquiat: Rage to Riches

Film Still from American Masters—Basquiat: Rage to Riches. Photo: Marion Busch

2017, NR, 90 minutes, Director and Producer: David Shulman

The program is part of The Artist’s Lens series, co-presented with Hamptons Doc Fest, and held in honor of Black History Month.

One of the most influential American artists of the 20th century, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a rock star of the early ’80s New York art scene. He lived fast, died young and created thousands of drawings and paintings. It took less than a decade for Basquiat, an accountant’s son from Brooklyn, to go from anonymous graffiti writer known as SAMO© to an epoch-defining art star. Today, Basquiat is in the top tier of the international art market along with Picasso, de Kooning, and Francis Bacon. 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of Basquiat’s untimely death at age 27 from a heroin overdose. In death, he has emerged as one of the most important artists of his generation and now exhibits in museums all over the world.

This documentary features exclusive interviews with Basquiat’s two sisters, Lisane and Jeanine, who have never before spoken about their brother and his art for a television documentary. With striking candor, art world colleagues, including dealers Bruno Bischofberger, Larry Gagosian and Mary Boone, and Basquiat’s most intimate friends, lovers and fellow artists draw a portrait of a handsome, charismatic and fragile personality–also divulging the cash, drugs and pernicious racism that he encountered. The main weapon Basquiat used to fight prejudice was his art. A game changer, his painting embodied and reflected breakthroughs in music, poetry and a new type of expressionism in modern art. 

The screening will be followed by a conversation with Senior Curator Corinne Erni and Michael Halsband who features in the film. Halsband befriended Basquiat and took the iconic photographs of him together with Andy Warhol.

American Masters—Basquiat: Rage to Riches is a BBC Studios Production for PBS and BBC in association with THIRTEEN Productions LLC. 

Friday nights are made possible, in part, by Presenting Sponsor, Bank of America. Additional support provided by The Corcoran Group and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder.  
Film & Talk: American Masters—Basquiat: Rage to Riches
Screening followed by talk with Michael Halsband and Corinne Erni
Friday, February 22, 2019 - 6:00pm
ticket group
$15 | $5 for Members, Children, and Students
social tickets