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after Jean-Michel Basquiat
Basquiat Downtown 81 film poster

c.2001

$650Asking Price

About

Basquiat Downtown 81 (Basquiat New York Beat) Vintage movie exhibition poster produced in conjunction with the film, Downtown 81's theatrical release in 2001. A rare, unique piece of Basquiat ephemera that makes for standout wall art. Measures: 27 x 40 inches. Minor signs of handling; otherwise very good plus condition. 1st printing 2001. Rare. Further background, "Shot as ''New York Beat'' in 1980-1981 but completed for release only last year, ''Downtown 81'' emerges as a nostalgic portrait of pre-Giuliani Manhattan, an unruly place full of garbage, graffiti, rubble-strewn lots, unlicensed after-hours clubs and highly idealistic kids eager to make their mark as avant-garde artists and musicians. The film's central figure is Jean, a young Bohemian engagingly played by a not yet famous Jean-Michel Basquiat. Jean survives mainly by relying on the worldwide network of hip: there will always be another bar to go to, another gig to Crash, another wealthy European to write a check, another gorgeous model in a Cadillac convertible to give him a ride home. The script, by the rock critic Glenn O'Brien, also the film's co-producer, follows the basic day-in-the-life format, beginning with Jean's release from a hospital. Jean returns to his Alphabet City tenement to find an angry landlord demanding his back rent, and departs with a painting he hopes to sell. The day brings many disappointments but also many fortuitous encounters. He meets assorted new-wave musicians (Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Tuxedomoon, James White and the Blacks, DNA, the Plastics, and Walter Steding, most of whom perform); go-go dancers; and street people, among them Deborah Harry, who plays a bag lady with magical powers. It's as a documentary that ''Downtown 81'' is most successful, particularly at those moments when the somewhat unfocused filmmaking allows us to look past the foreground characters and catch glimpses of a vanished cityscape: the pornography shops and grind houses of West 42nd Street, the greasy spoons and outlet stores of East 14th Street, the labyrinthine interior of the Mudd Club in what was then the largely uncharted territory south of Canal Street." (Source: NYT, 7/13/01) Related categories SAMO. Keith Haring. Street Art. Boom For real. Basquiat Beat Bop. Basquiat Gray. Maripol.

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