Like so many rock & roll greats who died young, New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat only lived to be 27. But he cut a wide swath across the art scene, becoming perhaps the most iconic artist of the go-go 1980s. By the time he was 20 his street art- inspired works — he cut his teeth as a graffiti artist, which shows up in his artful blend of images and words — with their deceptively naïve look that masked a sophisticated, ambitious artistic practice were already earning kudos and places in prestigious shows. He died of a heroin overdose in 1988.
This week, the Cleveland Museum of Art opens Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, the first major exhibition of these notebooks. It features more than 150 pages from the artist’s extensive notebooks, filled with a riot of sketches, poetry and general observations about life around him and his thoughts on race, class and world history. It will also include works on paper and large-scale paintings.
Tickets for the show are $10 for adults, $8 for senior and college students and $5 for children 6-17. It runs through Sun 4/23.