Basquiat, the Comic Book: See the Rise of Art Star Jean-Michel Basquiat in a New Graphic Novel

Basquiat's dramatic life story has inspired films, a Broadway musical, and now a graphic novel.

Image courtesy of Paolo Parisi.
Image courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Who needs Captain America when you have Basquiat?

A new graphic novel published by UK-based Laurence King traces the rise of Jean-Michel Basquiat from street-art upstart to international fame. It is the latest graphic novel by illustrator Paolo Parisi, who has previously written and illustrated volumes on the lives of music legends Billie Holiday and John Coltrane.

In a chapter excerpted here, entitled “New Art/New Money,” Parisi takes a close look at the artist’s prolific output and often-contentious relationship with famous art dealers including Annina Nosei, Mary Boone, and Larry Gagosian. All are seen vying to work with the artist as the buzz around him begins to build and the supercharged market machine of the 1980s kicks into high gear.

Basquiat’s dramatic life story has inspired everything from biopics to a Broadway musical. As in other Basquiat-inspired projects, the details in the graphic novel may be exaggerated or twisted—it’s hard to imagine notoriously competitive Larry Gagosian telling Mary Boone encouragingly, “Basquiat has to be the new star, and you with him,” while Basquiat comes off as a bit more naive and far less conflicted then we now know him to be. But if you are looking for an art yarn in graphic novel form, take a look at the excerpt below and decide for yourself.

Image courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Image courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of <i>New Art New Money</i> courtesy of Paolo Parisi.

Detail of New Art New Money courtesy of Paolo Parisi.


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