About the Film:
Filmmaker Sara Driver explores the pre-fame years of the celebrated American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and how New York City, its people, and shifting arts culture of the late 1970s and ‘80s shaped his vision. Conveying Basquiat’s personal magnetism, eccentricity and non-stop creativity, the doc serves as another chapter in the ongoing effort to rescue Basquiat from his own hype.
Period film footage, music, images, and anecdotes from other artists who emerged from the scene (Nan Goldin, Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quinones, Luc Sante) help visually tell the story of Jean-Michel’s downtown NYC - pre Aids, President Reagan, the real estate and art boom, and before anyone was motivated by money and ambition.
Driver does a great job of showing how Basquiat’s graffiti smears were more than just a subjective piece of art but also spoke candidly to social commentary on race, poverty, and oppression.
Community partner: WALL/THERAPY
A Skype Q&A with director Sara Driver will follow this opening night screening.