Basquiat : A Quick Killing in Art (Revised Edition) by Phoebe Hoban (2004, Paperback, Revised)

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Overview Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was the Jimi Hendrix of the art world: in less than a decade he went from being a teenage graffiti writer to an international art star; he was dead of a drug overdose at age twenty-seven. Phoebe Hoban's Basquiat, the first biography of this charismatic figure, charts the trajectory from the artist's troubled childhood to his volatile passage through the white art world of dealers and nouveau-riche collectors, chronicling the meteoric success and overnight burnout that made him an instant art-world myth. As much the portrait of an era as the portrait of an artist, Basquiat is an incisive expose of the eighties art market that paints a vivid picture of the rise and fall of the graffiti movement, the East Village art scene, and the out-of-control auction houses. Ten years after the artist's death, Basquiat resurrects both the painter and his time.


  • ISBN-13: 9780143035121
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/24/2004
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 283,531
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Reviews (3)

  • Anonymous
    10 years, 10 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    4.0 / 5.0

    I found that this book was in complete conflict with Julian Schnabel's screenplay about him. I was amazed to find out how he and Schnabel had battled while Jean was alive. He (as depicted in the book) was a dispicable, self involved twit, who needed to escape life desprately. I was saddened at the end, and wondered if anyone who knew him could really say if all these things were true. I spoke with his old friend John Lurie about his funeral and got some real confirmation about the man in reality. It hurts to read this, but affirms as well.

  • Anonymous
    14 years, 4 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    4.0 / 5.0

    I thought this to be a somewhat credible account of the 80's art world. I wasnt there so I dont really know. Im not a reader & find myself rereading this book on the subway. As someone who was graduated art school in 95 I am interested in the way things were then & find it facinating to walk by the places Basquiat frequented. Some of the discriptions lost my interest. Does the reader really care what the father of one of Basquiat's lovers does for a living? And whatever you think of the movie Im also addicted to the movie soundtrack.

  • Karl_Hungus
    4 years ago at Barnes & Noble

    5.0 / 5.0

    Thoroughly researched and organized, this book is at times clinical in it's assessment of Basquiat's quick rise and fall in the 80's art world. An unflinching portrait of the people who used JMB and of JMB using many, many people. Filled with details from insiders and assistants, it gives a view of JMB's life that is inspiring and also a great tragedy. Provides a balanced picture, with both praise and damnation from critics, colleagues and friends. SAMO lives.