Jean-Michel Basquiat’s life and career veered expeditiously in November 1982 when he left his first art dealer Annina Nosei and the cushy studio space in her gallery’s basement in favor of a solo show at plucky FUN Gallery, which erupted from the East Village punk scene. He was on the cusp of superstardom, coveted by art world power brokers Bruno Bischofberger in Zurich and Larry Gagosian in Los Angeles.
The work he created that year is arguably his best, exploding with youthful exuberance, a reckless abandon that’s now recognized as unrivaled mastery.
An overflow crowd poured into FUN Gallery, where Portrait of the Artist as a
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