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Jean-Michel Basquiat was a bold, revolutionary who turned the art world upside down with his provocative art work. Although he died young, he left behind a remarkable legacy that has transcended nearly three decades of artists and designers.

A compilation of some of his writing and sketches can be found in a notebook publication edited by Larry Warsh.

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“With words and images rendered in ink, markers, paint, and oil sicks, the notebooks are where Jean-Michel clarified his voice in a highly visual way. For him, the books were a separate practice, distinct from the work he did on the street or in the studio. Their value was in the creative process they facilitated, as well as in their status as objects of works of art in their own right. They captured the essence of his mind, what he was thinking in the moment.”

— Larry Warsh 

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While flipping through some of Basquiat’s writing and sketches, I felt like I was exploring uncharted territory. This collection of notes offers a deep understanding of Basquiat’s view of the world when he was living, and some of the experiences he faced a black artist.

The visual language of the writing and sketches are vibrant, and raw with dark imagery. Although we may never understand the artistic genius behind the work of Basquiat, these notes reveal a fascinating part of Basquait’s life that is intimate and personal.

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