In her roundup of the best gift books for this season, senior correspondent Ketzel Levine chooses this overview of the New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat:
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Basquiat, with catalogue descriptions by Luca Marenzi.
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"Oh no, not another Basquiat book!" my artist sister cried, bemoaning what she sees as the disproportionate representation of Jean-Michel Basquiat's artwork. Feted at 20, dead by 27, the Brooklyn-born graffiti-turned-canvas artist evokes, for me, everything from Paul Klee to the now-ubiquitous graphic novel, where nervous scrawls and saturated colors tell vivid, if painful stories. The right person (think: agelessly hip) will love what this young New Yorker did with oil sticks and acrylics and will skim the essays to fill in the biographical blanks. (For devotees, look for the just-published poetic "riffs" on Basquiat's art by Kevin Young, in To Repel Ghosts: The Remix.)