The early years of Jean-Michel Basquiat will be celebrated next month, just down the Bowery from the Great Jones Street loft where he spent his last days.
After making its US premiere at the New York Film Festival back in October, Sara Driver’s documentary Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat is set to open at IFC Center on May 11, and East 6th Street gallery Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project is supplementing the film’s run with an exhibit and events series featuring some of Basquiat’s fans and contemporaries.
“Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat” is curated by Driver along with Basquiat friend Mary-Ann Monforton of BOMB magazine and one of the film’s talking heads, art critic Carlo McCormick. The show opens May 13 and will focus on a time in downtown New York, during Basquiat’s early years, when “decay, drugs, and dissolution fueled a boom in creativity where the definition of fame, success, and power was not based on money, Facebook likes, and self-promotion,” per an announcement.
The exhibit and series of screenings and discussions will “illuminate Basquiat’s work and that of his friends and other artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians who emerged from that scene.” Some of those include Driver’s partner and collaborator Jim Jarmusch, late painter Richard Hambleton (who recently got a doc of his own), East Village photographers Godlis and Nan Goldin, and some of those prominently featured in the documentary: hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, graffiti pioneer Lee Quiñones and artist and Club 57 scenester Kenny Scharf. The full list is below, followed by a rundown of events also announced by Howl! Happening.
You can read more about Boom For Real here.
Brett De Palma
Fab 5 Freddy
Robert Goldman aka Bobby G
Special events will include:
· A panel discussion featuring Alexis Adler, Felice Rosser, Lee Quiñones, Al Diaz, and more
· A screening of Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary Burroughs: The Movie from the Criterion Collection
· An evening of films featuring an experimental film by Basquiat’s bandmate Michael Holman, with a soundtrack by Gray, the band he and Basquiat formed; David Schmidlapp’s film of Walter Steding playing beneath the Brooklyn Bridge; and Paul Tschinkel’s film about New York/New Wave, curator Diego Cortez’s groundbreaking exhibition at PS1 in 1981
· A performance by Felice Rosser
· A special series of film screenings in collaboration with Anthology Film Archives