Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Jean-Michel Basquiat Died Today. Watch 'The Radiant Child' & 'Basquiat' - Both Streaming, Now

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 12, 2013 at 2:48PM

Today in history, August 12, 1988, Jean-Michel Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at his art studio in New York City. He was just 27 years old.
5
Basquiat

Today in history, August 12, 1988, Jean-Michel Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at his art studio in New York City. He was just 27 years old.

Basquiat's life unfolds on screen in 2 films of note: most recently, director Tamra Davis' 2009 documentary, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, which, in short, follows a rare interview that Davis shot with Basquiat 20+ years ago, chronicling the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist.

In New York City of the 1970s, he covered the city streets with his graffiti tag 'SAMO.' 

In 1981 he put paint on canvas for the first time.

And by 1983 he had become an artist with "rock star status," achieving critical and commercial success, though constantly confronted by racism from his peers.

In 1985, he and Andy Warhol became close friends and painting collaborators, but they parted ways and Warhol died suddenly in 1987. 

Basquiat's heroin addiction worsened, and he died of an overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. 

At the height of his very short, blistering career, he was 25 years old, and today his canvases sell for millions of dollars.

Davis' film intimately details the life of the young charismatic Basquiat, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the roller-coaster quality of the downtown art scene he seemed to embody.

Featuring interviews with Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Bruno Bischofberger, Tony Shafrazi, Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Glenn O'Brien, Michael Holman, Diego Cortez, Annina Nosei, Kenny Scharf, among many others.

The film is currently streaming on Netflix, so you're just a few clicks away from watching it for the first time (if you haven't already seen it), or watching it again (if you have).

Prior to Davis' documentary was Jeffrey Wright's gutsy turn as Jean-Michel Basquiat, in a scripted feature film titled Basquiat, directed by Julian Schnabel, the notoriously prickly artist, with a cast that also included Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, and David Bowie

Wright said that he had to take up painting and shed 30 pounds to play Basquiat in the film. 

The film went on to gross just over $3 million in theaters and received generally favorable reviews, with a 70% "fresh" rating at review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

And by the way, it's also streaming on Netflix currently, so a double-dose of Basquiat on screen, to celebrate his life and death - one fictionalized, the other non-fiction.

Both films are also available on Hulu, so you can watch them there for free (with commercials of course). I embedded the Hulu player for Radiant Child below:

This article is related to: Jeffrey Wright, Julian Schnabel, Tamra Davis, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child


Shadow & ActNewsletter