Basquiat, by L. Emmerling

My Copy: 9783836527149 (edition cover different in link)

I admit, I’m writing this review now because I’m donating it to a library. I don’t really care for this particular Taschen book. Not to say the illustrations and writing aren’t good, it’s that I’m not a Basquiat fan, I suppose.

The info about Basquiat and his early years and influences is great stuff, from when he was making graffiti under the name SAMO to coming out as his own self and painting, drawing, using every medium possible. The story of Basquiat has so much in it, and it’s a shame that he didn’t live past age 27.

It’s definitely a real-life story of success too fast in the 80s when the difference between art for art’s sake and art for profit was practically gone. This book has great info on the art movements and galleries desperately searching for something else after Pop Art and Minimalist Art and other movements that came about after WWII.

As with other Taschen books, this one doesn’t disappoint regarding it’s image quality. The information’s also easier to understand compared to my previously reviewed Pop Art. But while I can get the gist of everything around the art…I can’t actually get the art itself. I guess I’m not a fan, though I found a couple of pieces that looked interesting. Much of the art I can tell I wouldn’t be a fan of even if I got to see it in the gallery. I can’t pick why that is, but yeah.

But the book’s info’s good, so if you’re not much for the art (like me), then at least an understanding of the world around it…yeah, this book’s pretty good for that. It’s a good glimpse into the art scene of the late 70s and 80s, and the craziness that surrounded the art market in those years…and a little of how it affected artists pressured to produce.

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