Never-exhibited works by Jean-Michel Basquiat to go on show in New York

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"Jailbirds" (1983) by Jean-Michel Basquiat will be on display in the "Jean-Michel Basquiat: King of Pleasure" exhibit.

Thought you'd seen just about everything by Jean-Michel Basquiat? Think again. The American artist will soon be the subject of a new exhibition in New York, which will feature over 200 rarely seen works. Mark your calendar!

Many museums around the world have dedicated exhibitions to Jean-Michel Basquiat since his death at the age of 27 in 1988. But one set to be held in the spring of 2022 in New York City is different from all the others. "Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure" was conceived by the American artist's sisters, Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux.

In it, they paint an intimate, multidimensional portrait of the enfant terrible of contemporary art, as few exhibitions have done before. "We wanted to bring his work and personality forward, in a way only his family can, for people to immerse themselves in," explained Lisane Basquiat. "We want this to be a multi-dimensional celebration of Jean-Michel's life."

"The man behind the icon"

While the artist's family had been entertaining the idea of organizing their own exhibition for years, it was the lockdown that convinced them to take the plunge. "This exhibition showcasing the man behind the icon has been years in the making, from the initial idea in 2017 around the 30th anniversary of Jean-Michel's passing to now," Jeanine Heriveaux outlined. "There's been many exhibitions of Jean-Michel's work, but never told from the perspective of the family -- Jean-Michel as a child, a man, a son, and a brother. As we were all in lockdown, we said: 'Maybe now is the right time.'"

"Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure" will present more than "200 never before and rarely seen paintings, drawings, multimedia presentations, ephemera and artifacts." The American painter's family called on ISG Productions and Superblue to produce the exhibition, described as "immersive," with Spotify and Phillips as sponsors.

It will be held in the spring of 2022 at the Starrett-Lehigh Building, a New York City landmark building that is already home to the School of Visual Arts and the Chelsea Gallery. More information about the exhibition will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Caroline Drzewinski

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