What are we doing this week? With one child in school and one child on vacation, it’s time to delve into New York’s offerings to make for a fun and enriching week in the city! First, we’re setting off to see JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT: KING PLEASURE® at the Starrett-Lehigh Building, West Chelsea!

Exhibit image by Ivane Katamashvili

Image courtesey of Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure/ by Ivane Katamashvili

Why?

  • New never exhibited art! We love his graffiti style packed with social commentary and iconic figures.
  • Curated by his family, offering a personal look at the famed NYC artist

We are super excited to get our art groove on this April and delve into the life and art of Jean-Michel Basquiat (one of our favorite New York artists), at an exhibit put on by his family, Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure ®, at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in West Chelsea. Check out 200 of his works and recreations of his studio on Great Jones Street, as well as the Michael Todd VIP Room of NYC’s Palladium Nightclub—in which he had created two paintings.

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There may be no more iconic contemporary New York art force than Jean-Michel Basquiat, known for his graffiti drawings and commentaries on topics like race and poverty. His recognizable hand meshes text and image—often skeletons, African artifacts and a signature crown, sometimes in vivid color, other times in black and white. As one half of the graffiti duo SAMO, active in the Lower East Side in the 1970s, his work is often connected with the rise of rap, punk and street art.

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1982 copyright James Van der Zee Archive, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1982, copyright James Van der Zee Archive, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For the first time ever, the Basquiat family is sharing their collection of his works, including childhood renderings offering a deeper look into the person, the brother and son that this cultural icon was. Sisters Jeanine and Lisane, who run the estate and curated the exhibit, have called this a personal journey that allowed them the pleasure of reconnecting with people from all parts of his life. They remember Jean-Michel as a protective, rambunctious and pioneering force, who was also a kid who loved Saturday morning cartoons, streetball, hide and seek and other pastimes of a child in Brooklyn, NY in the 60s and 70s. We say a big thank you to his sisters for giving us this unprecedented look into his life, comprised of 200 works (177 of which that have never been exhibited)—and would be remiss not to recognize their own place in the art world—two black women in charge of one of the world’s most important collections.

Photo by Miranda Penn Turin

Photo credit: Miranda Penn Turin

Join us and snap up some tickets and give your family a deeper look into this New York art icon who will be remembered for his indelible stamp on both NY culture and the contemporary art world!