Basquiat’s Defacement

 100.0

Jean-Michel Basquiat painted Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart) on the wall of Keith Haring’s studio in 1983 to commemorate the death of a young black artist who died from injuries sustained while in police custody after being arrested for allegedly tagging a New York City subway station. Defacement is the starting point for the present volume, which focuses on Basquiat’s response to anti-black racism and police brutality. Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold Story explores this chapter in the artist’s career through both the lens of his identity and the Lower East Side as a nexus of activism in the early 1980s, an era marked by the rise of the art market, the AIDS crisis and ongoing racial tensions in the city.

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