Radiant Child

Dir. Tamra Davis, 2010, 88 min.

This definitive documentary chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the crime-ridden NYC of the 1970s, he covers the city with the graffiti tag SAMO. By 1981 he puts paint on canvas for the first time, and by 1983 he’s a “rock star” artist. By 1985 he and Andy Warhol have become close friends and painting collaborators, but they part ways and Warhol dies suddenly in 1987. Basquiat’s heroin addiction worsens, and he dies of an overdose at the age of 27. With compassion and psychological insight, director Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster downtown art scene he seemed to embody.

Showing 11/12, 11/13, 11/14