Frevo NYC and Richard Corman reveal rare portraits of the prolific artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, in an exhibition titled Basquiat: A Portrait. In 2017, Richard Corman released these portraits to the world in a limited edition portfolio of 20 for the very first time. Now, here they are again and blown-up to a large scale, that has previously been unseen.
Richard Corman shot these pictures in 1984, at around the height of Basquiat's fame. It was rare to find someone part of the art scene who was unfamiliar with his name back in the day, and ever rarer so today. Walking into his studio at 57 Great Jones St, Richard Corman recalls walking into a scene out from a party. The studio was crowded and full of life, but with a sense of chaotic confusion. Unfinished and finished works stood amidst a swirl of people, color, and smoke. Richard states:
"My initial instinct was to remove him from all the distractions and place him in front of a thin four-foot wall of grey seamless paper."
The resultant portraits of Basquiat reveal the artist in a bare, unfiltered form. We printed these images on Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag, one of our favourite inkjet papers to print on for photography. Each print was of course signed by Richard, in his trademark signature.
Exhibition photos courtesy of Frevo. Studio photographs taken by Brooklyn Editions Inc. All artwork courtesy of Richard Corman.