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A rare glimpse of Jean Michel Basquiat

A rare glimpse of Jean Michel Basquiat

posted on Friday February 8, 2013 | in River of Beauty and Youth | 4 Comments

Hi Shala


I am glad you bid and got my portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I went to the opening last night but it was so crowded that I am going back later to see it again. It’s kind of sad he is not around to see the massive interest in his work.

I took the photo you have in 1983. He was then living in a loft on 101 Crosby Street just around the corner from Prince street. I took the photo at maybe 7 or 8 in the morning we had been up all night he was painting and I was hanging out listening to some music I had come over to take a portrait.

I did some close up photos of his face and then was gonna take some pics of him painting but for some reason I can’t remember I didn’t do that. Anyway he was leaving for Japan and wanted to take a bath before leaving, he had no shower. So I think it was his gift to me that he let me take pictures of him bathing. I mean very unique photos.

I took 12 photos and you have one of them. When he was done he packed his clothes everything in a big army duffel bag that closed from the top. He just stuffed everything in there without folding his suits, clothes mixed in with crayons color pencils pads of paper. And then got in a cab to the airport. I was late for work I was assisting Irving Penn at the time so I rushed off to work.

Anyway it’s just anecdotal but I though maybe nice for you to know.

My book Out To Lunch features all the photos if the session it’s a limited edition book published by Andrew Roth

You can check it out on


Have a good day apparently a huge storm is coming with lots of snow




Sent from my iPhone

Photo of JMB by: Ari Marcopoulos

Collage of Jean-Michel and I bathing by yours truly

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  1. Marlyse Karhol (Reply) on Friday 8, 2013

    This picture is a blessing ! Thank you Shala , Thank you ARi

  2. Cleon (Reply) on Friday 8, 2013

    The portraits of Basquiat taken by Ari are so revealing they feel beyond candid; almost autobiographical. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to have one of my own: thinking positive!

    Also, the opening night exhibition was absolutely incredible. My first time feeling overwhelmed by art, and not by the volume shown, but the depth of his work. 2 hours of my life I’d never want back.

  3. malika (Reply) on Friday 8, 2013

    2 bath,
    love your swimming costum Shala, retro !

  4. Eli (Reply) on Friday 8, 2013

    Omg this is amazing! You don’t understand how much I love Basquait.

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