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ARTFORUM, “The Radiant Child”, December 1981, not signed,
Publisher: Artforum International.

Author-René Ricard’s essay entitled “The Radiant Child.” Not only was it written by someone who knew him, it’s also one of the first in-depth critical responses to his art.
The article first appeared in the December 1981 issue …

Medium
Signature
Not signed
Certificate of authenticity
Included
Frame
Not included
Publisher
Artforum International

A poet, musician, and graffiti prodigy in late-1970s New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat had honed his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams, and mask-and-skull imagery by the time he was 20. “I don’t think about art while I work,” he once said. “I think about life.” Basquiat drew his subjects from his own Caribbean heritage—his father was Haitian and his mother of Puerto Rican descent—and a convergence of African-American, African, and Aztec cultural histories with Classical themes and contemporary heroes like athletes and musicians. Often associated with Neo-expressionism, Basquiat received massive acclaim in only a few short years, showing alongside artists like Julian Schnabel, David Salle, and Francesco Clemente. In 1983, he met Andy Warhol, who would come to be a mentor and idol. The two collaborated on a series of paintings before Warhol’s death in 1987, followed by Basquiat’s own untimely passing a year later.

High auction record
$110.5m, Sotheby's, 2017
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Guggenheim Museum, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Selected exhibitions
2019
Jean-Michel BasquiatFondation Louis Vuitton
Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold StoryGuggenheim Museum
2015
Basquiat: The Unknown NotebooksBrooklyn Museum
View all

René Ricard (July 23, 1946 – February 1, 2014) was a painter, actor, art critic and writer who published numerous books of his poetry and art, including Trusty Sarcophagus Co. (Inanout Press, 1990), and Love Poems (C U Z Editions, 1999). Born in Massachusetts, Ricard grew up in Boston and moved to New York City at 18, where he attracted the attention of Andy Warhol. The young René (formerly Albert Napoleon René Ricard) became his protege, appearing in three Warhol films, and even playing the Factory founder himself in "Andy Warhol Story".
Ricard viewed visual art and poetry not as separate mediums but as symbiotic modes of expression. His use of text in his work reflects this interest in the written word. Ricard's confessional hand-painted and hand-written poetry is almost always accompanied by the artist's outsized signature, integrated into the composition, or placed at its center.
By the early 1980s, René Ricard was a fixture in the New York art scene, not only as an accomplished artist, but as a critic. Penning enlightening and poetic essays for Artforum, he turned his attention to rising stars such as Julian Schnabel and Alex Katz. Ricard famously wrote the first major article on Jean-Michel Basquiat. “The Radiant Child” is credited with launching Basquiat’s career, and is considered a seminal contemporary art essay. René Ricard passed away in New York City in 2014.

Selected exhibitions
2021
Alphabetic ImageArsenal Contemporary Art New York
2019
Rene Ricard: but you love me...you said soHalf Gallery
Drawn Together AgainThe FLAG Art Foundation
View all

"Radiant Child", Artforum Magazine, Rene Ricard Article, The Holy Grail !!!!!!, 1980

Print on paper
10 3/4 × 10 3/4 in
27.3 × 27.3 cm
.
$1,000
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ARTFORUM, “The Radiant Child”, December 1981, not signed,
Publisher: Artforum International.

Medium
Signature
Not signed
Certificate of authenticity
Included
Frame
Not included
Publisher
Artforum International

A poet, musician, and graffiti prodigy in late-1970s New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat had honed his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams, and mask-and-skull imagery by the time he was 20. “I don’t think about art while I work,” he once said. “I think about life.” Basquiat drew his subjects from his own Caribbean heritage—his father was Haitian and his mother of Puerto Rican descent—and a convergence of African-American, African, and Aztec cultural histories with Classical themes and contemporary heroes like athletes and musicians. Often associated with Neo-expressionism, Basquiat received massive acclaim in only a few short years, showing alongside artists like Julian Schnabel, David Salle, and Francesco Clemente. In 1983, he met Andy Warhol, who would come to be a mentor and idol. The two collaborated on a series of paintings before Warhol’s death in 1987, followed by Basquiat’s own untimely passing a year later.

High auction record
$110.5m, Sotheby's, 2017
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Guggenheim Museum, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Selected exhibitions (3)

René Ricard (July 23, 1946 – February 1, 2014) was a painter, actor, art critic and writer who published numerous books of his poetry and art, including Trusty Sarcophagus Co. (Inanout Press, 1990), and Love Poems (C U Z Editions, 1999). Born in Massachusetts, Ricard grew up in Boston and moved to New York City at 18, where he attracted the attention of Andy Warhol. The young René (formerly Albert Napoleon René Ricard) became his protege, appearing in three Warhol films, and even playing the Factory founder himself in "Andy Warhol Story".
Ricard viewed visual art and poetry not as separate mediums but as symbiotic modes of expression. His use of text in his work reflects this interest in the written word. Ricard's confessional hand-painted and hand-written poetry is almost always accompanied by the artist's outsized signature, integrated into the composition, or placed at its center.
By the early 1980s, René Ricard was a fixture in the New York art scene, not only as an accomplished artist, but as a critic. Penning enlightening and poetic essays for Artforum, he turned his attention to rising stars such as Julian Schnabel and Alex Katz. Ricard famously wrote the first major article on Jean-Michel Basquiat. “The Radiant Child” is credited with launching Basquiat’s career, and is considered a seminal contemporary art essay. René Ricard passed away in New York City in 2014.

Selected exhibitions (3)

Series by this artist

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Other works by Jean-Michel Basquiat
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