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Basquiat: Rage to Riches (2017)

Nearly 30 years after his death, this documentary film of Jean-Michel Basquiat details how the self-taught Brooklyn-born artist rose to be one of the greats on the international art marketplace.

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David Shulman
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jean Michel Basquiat ... Himself (archive footage)
Bruno Bischofberger Bruno Bischofberger ... Himself
Mary Boone Mary Boone ... Herself
Bob Colacello ... Himself
Tamra Davis ... Herself
Brett De Palma Brett De Palma ... Himself
Fab 5 Freddy ... Himself
Larry Gagosian Larry Gagosian ... Himself
Michael Holman Michael Holman ... Himself
Suzanne Mallouk Suzanne Mallouk ... Herself
Cathleen McGuigan Cathleen McGuigan ... Herself
Annina Nosei Annina Nosei ... Herself
Paige Powell Paige Powell ... Herself
Kenny Scharf Kenny Scharf ... Himself
Troy Stevenson-House Troy Stevenson-House ... Young Basquiat
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Storyline

Nearly 30 years after his death, this documentary film of Jean-Michel Basquiat details how the self-taught Brooklyn-born artist rose to be one of the greats on the international art marketplace.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Details

Official Sites:

BBC

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Basquiat: Popstar der Kunstwelt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP750 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Rebel art.
27 October 2017 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

I appreciate art but rarely anything modern you see. Same with music, in fact I rarely listen to popular music from later than 1980. I'd honestly never heard of Jean - Michel Basquiat until I read about a big exhibition of his which recently came to London. So, my interest piqued, I duly watched this documentary on his brief life and times, as he fatefully joined the celebrated "27" club of pop-cultural celebrities (including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, more recently Amy Winehouse) who never got to celebrate their 28th birthday as his life ended when he overdosed in his studio in New York in 1988.

Now, having read up on him, I'm aware that his art can sell for over $100 million and even if his work still doesn't move me the way my favourite older works (just like I know I'm never going to "get" rap music), I certainly got from this biographical documentary, the buzz of his arrival on the scene in New York, just when hip-hop music, early rap and break dancing were all getting underway.

His story is told by family members, contemporary friends, artists and lovers, interspersed with many clips of the somewhat diffident artist in his milieu, indeed I didn't realise he stood in for Grandmaster Flash in Blondie's "Rapture" music video of the time. Other cultural icons who make appearances in the narrative include a very brief cameo by the young Madonna, although only indirectly linked to Basquiat and Andy Warhol with a much larger role in Basqiuat's career as the young man's patron and mentor.

In the few video clips of the artist, he comes across as sometimes slightly bemused at others politically motivated, a complex kid for sure. We get to see his beginnings as a burgeoning graffiti artist on the streets of New York and even as a musician in a band, before eventually finding himself with his provocative large-form artworks. For some arty reason, the director has a middle-aged saxophone player interjecting some riffs between shots which I see as an attempt to claim the same cultural significance for Basquiat as a genius black man after the examples of say, Charlie Parker and later Jimi Hendrix, but it just looks like a gimmicky device from where I was sitting.

Basquiat won't be the last popular artist, in the broad term of the phrase to find himself struggling with success and finding misplaced succour in drugs or drink, but I'm glad I know more about him and his work, although even if I had a 100 mil available I doubt I'd ever actually buy one of his paintings.


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