Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Born to a Haitian father and a Puerto Rican mother, Jean-Michel Basquiat went from spraying New York City walls with graffiti tagged “SAMO” in the 1970s, to rock-star status as a painter and celebrity by 1983. He achieved critical and commercial success, but was constantly confronted by racism from his peers. In 1985 he and Andy Warhol became close friends and painting collaborators, until Warhol’s death 1987. One year later, Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at 27.

This intimate documentary is based on an extensive interview director Tamra Davis filmed of Basquiat. Using rare footage and interviews with the likes of Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Fab 5 Freddy and many others who knew Basquiat, Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster quality of the downtown scene he seemed to embody.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2009)


United States




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Tamra Davis

Tamra Davis

Tamra Davis is an American film, television and music video director. She has directed a number of feature films, among them Billy Madison and Half Baked, and episodes of the TV shows My Name is Earl, Grey’s Anatomy and Everybody Hates Chris. She has also directed videos for such artists as Depeche Mode, the Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth and Luscious Jackson.

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