Jean-Michel Basquiat next in Upstairs Art Film Series, Sept. 2

Published 10:00 pm Sunday, August 31, 2014

Upstairs Artspace will present the fourth in the Upstairs Artspace Art Film series, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 6:30 p.m. at the gallery, with popcorn and beverages served at 6 p.m. The 90-minute documentary film on the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat is a free community event made possible through a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation under its Community Matters free event program.
In his short career, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a phenomenon, an artist who led a radical life and left an ambitious body of work behind after his premature death. He became notorious for his graffiti art under the moniker Samo in the late 1970s on the Lower East Side of New York, sold his first painting to Deborah Harry (lead singer for the new wave and punk rock band Blondie) for $200 and became best friends with Andy Warhol.
The Radiant Child is a respectfully vivid, accurate and entertaining homage to a successful black neoexpressionist artist whose be-bop-influenced work emerged while minimalist, conceptual art was the fad. The film opens with 1986 footage of Basquiat being interviewed in a hotel room by friends Becky Johnston and director Tamra Davis, and moves on to flesh out the downtown New York art scene in the 1980s, and Basquiat’s pivotal role in it. Filled with interviews with those who knew Basquiat and were part of the New York art scene at the time, The Radiant Child is considered the definitive documentary of Basquiat’s life and art.
The Upstairs Artspace is a non-profit art gallery whose mission is to develop an understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and craft forms through exhibits, programs and educational activities that enrich the cultural life of the region. Its free programs are made possible through the support of the Polk County Community Foundation, the North Carolina Council of the Arts and the generous support of its members. The gallery is located at 49 South Trade St. For additional information: 828-859-2828.

-article submitted
by Clare O’Sheel

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