This Day in 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat Was Born

In 1982, art dealer Bruno Bischofberger brought Jean-Michel Basquiat to see Andy Warhol in his Factory studio—the introduction would lead to years of collaborations and a close personal relationship between the two painters. According to Ronny Cutrone, one of Warhol’s longtime assistants, it “was like some crazy art world marriage and they were the odd couple. The relationship was symbiotic. Jean-Michel thought he needed Andy’s fame, and Andy thought he needed Jean-Michel’s new blood. [Jean-Michel] gave Andy a rebellious image again.” A decade after Warhol died in 1987 and Basquiat died in 1988, fellow Neo-Expressionist Julian Schnabel threw himself into the mix, creating the film Basquiat (1996). “In the film, I wanted to make a requiem for Jean and Andy,” said Schnabel. “They were so attacked. Andy cared about Jean-Michel. He was really human. He wasn’t a vampire. His death broke Jean-Michel’s heart. And we’re the beneficiaries of the work they did. We get to look at those paintings.”

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