The legend of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the enigmatic graffiti-writer turned art-world superstar, has captivated audiences for decades. From the gritty streets of New York to the glitzy galleries of the 70s and 80s, Basquiat’s journey was nothing short of meteoric. He was the face of “New Art, New Money,” a magnet for wealth, women, and drugs. Yet, amidst the whirlwind of fame and fortune, there existed a real person with thoughts as enigmatic as the art he created.
A Glimpse into Basquiat’s World
In 1985, at the zenith of his fame, acclaimed German photographer Andreas Sterzing captured Basquiat in a series of portraits. These photographs, taken at his studio on Great Jones Street, New York, stand out for their raw vulnerability and unfiltered honesty. Here, there are no designer suits, no facades. Instead, we see the “creative genius” as he truly was—a young man lost in his craft, quiet and contemplative, painting with a sense of inner peace.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
These portraits provide a rare glimpse into the soul of a young man who would tragically succumb to a drug overdose at the tender age of 27, just two and a half years later. Through Sterzing’s lens, we witness Basquiat not as a celebrity, but as a twenty-something-year-old in a blue shirt, engrossed in his creative process. These images reveal a mind brimming with ideas and a spirit teeming with life.
Preserving the Legacy: NFTs by Andreas Sterzing
In a remarkable collaboration with Andreas Sterzing, we’re proud to present this extremely rare collection of 7 NFTs. Each piece has been meticulously digitized and is available in a limited edition of 77. This release is a testament to the photographer’s generosity and dedication to preserving Basquiat’s legacy. It’s a one-time opportunity; there will be no reruns.
Conclusion: Beyond the Legend
Jean-Michel Basquiat was more than the sum of his public persona. These portraits by Andreas Sterzing allow us to peel back the layers of fame and fortune, revealing the essence of a young artist immersed in his craft. Through these images, we connect with the man behind the legend—a boy with a paintbrush, a mind full of ideas, and a heart pulsating with life. As we delve into these portraits, we come to appreciate the depth and complexity of Basquiat’s existence, immortalized in strokes of paint and captured through the lens of a masterful photographer.