Moving, illuminating portrait of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, graffiti artist and party boy who became an art world star at 21. Never-before-seen footage. “Definitive.” — Moving Pictures
Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was a 21-year-old graffiti artist and art world party boy when he became a star, catapulted from Bohemian poverty to multimillionaire in little more than a year. Filmmaker Tamra Davis was a pal and the treasure at the heart of her tender, informative documentary is a conversation she shot with him, relaxed and smiling, intimate and playful at the height of his career. — BG.
“Tamra Davis’ Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child spins out from an extended interview Davis videotaped in 1986, two years before Basquiat’s death. Like Banksy, Basquiat’s roots were in graffiti, but during his tragically short career, he became a prodigious and prolific painter – indeed the most brilliant painter of the last quarter of the 20th century. Davis, who was a close friend, has collected fascinating footage of the artist at work, and this, together with the interview material and a fragmented commentary by critics and curators, makes for a documentary that is both moving and illuminating.” — Amy Taubin, Film Comment