Basquiat – The Lost Prince

Basquiat is my favorite movie about an artist, period. Made by an artist himself, Julian Schnabel. It also has one of the best soundtracks ever!

It’s hard to make a good artist look interesting as they’re usually just working.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Saw his retrospective at MoCA, not impressed, but towards the end he was just starting to find his way, create soem richness and depth, some movement and life. About at the level of what a theoretical MFA SHOULD be, but of course isnt.

    He was just too full of himself and decadent, feeling too many days like you did yesterday, but hooked on the party scene. Like a minor version of Modigliani. Which was a really bad movie.

    We are only truly content when having no thought as to our own well being, but contributing to life selflessly. Hanging with Warhol, that certainly wasnt possible. He coulda beena contenda. And of course never went to art school, always a huge advantage, no brainwashing to get through.

    Need to recharge the batteries, balance is key. go hiking, always gets the creative juices flowing, or of course that pretty girl thing.

  2. I did go through a Basquiat period where I ate up everything he did, but at the end of it his work felt empty. I will always have a soft spot for him though.

    I would put Modigliani ahead as a painter, but Basquiat easily wins out as a movie ;-) I would love to see what they could have done with another 10 or 20 years of focused work. Egon Schiele too, he’s another star that burned out too quickly.

    Sounds like you think a pretty girl will cure everything

  3. A Fine movie, balances fairly well on the edge of getting too romantic about art and painting, sometimes falls over…but on the whole one of the best films about artists IMHO. My favourite character is Basquiat’s friend played by Benicio del Toro and his crazy video-art stuff – pure genius!
    So, a young artist like Basquiat liked to party with Warhol and meet pretty girls and rich art collectors instead of sitting alone in his drafty studio to study Rembrandt’s brush cleaning techniques?!?!

  4. Havent seent this one…

  5. As i have my wife, and there is a 5cent wine sale at BevMo now, I am pretty set. Hope you are feeling better, trust your walkabout Aussie nature when down, god is out there, and is what nurtures us, and inspires.

    Yeah, Schiele would be a good one, but hope its outside of Hollywood and the NY art scene that does it. They have already ruined many artists biography’s. Maybe just a slow motion film of your boy Morandi creating his bottle still lifes over and over and over….

    My boy Cezanne would be good, but with few if any words. They love the wild ones so they can paint pictures verbally, let the camera do the talking. Their filming always way too hero worshipping, makes my skin crawl. George Braque too. Let the art speak. Both quiet and looking to lose themselves in nature. Believe it or not, more my thing.

    Hope you are feeling better today. Art has much to do with resolving lifes supposed opposites, finding truth in the whole, its many layers truly one. And so with our inner conflicts. Everyone feels useless at times, recharge those batteries. Feast, just not decadently like the above party boys, that just burns you out. Filling a void with wine, women and song, Ooh wait, my bad. Those are Wonderful things! But as part of the whole, not the ancient Hellenes supposed moderation, which they never truly did, but balance. Solitude and walkabouts provide answers we cannot put into words.

    Now get to work! lets see some, and no more hibernating on the post.

    ps. I see the Vatican has gotten the message, and all those of mine I sent them. They are having a one day art symposium Nov 21 in the Sistine. With 500 artistes, from Bono to Bill viola, it will be just a talking to. Asking why there is no beauty in art anymore, admitting more religious stuff is tacky, but supposed “high” art being ugly and decadent. We need more commissions, art with purpose, it can trigger great works, not just sitting around gazing at ones navel and “expressing” ones own childish nature. Life it out there, get out of those enclosing, sheltering, seperating, sterile studios. Which is why I work in the back porch, and take my stuff outside. It must hold its own with gods creation.

    So get back to it! How about some more veggies? Still lifes are just as appropriate a motif as any. Maybe some empty bottles of wine and womens sweet nothings. Ooops sorry.

    art collegia delenda est

  6. I agree about the heroising thing in movies – and mostly about the males! So here’s a good movie about Artemisia Gentilleschi (Called Artemisia
    who was the first recorded female artist in history and a mean Renaissance painter. Just for the balance of course… and speaking of why we paint???because we have to, of course. And what would life be without passion??? For balance, walking, playing music, singing, dancing and talking about art with good and trusted friends…all highly recommended. Keep painting – we need other crazy people in this world!!


  8. One of the better films about an artist’s life and work. It didn’t romanticized too much. Good stuff.

  9. I didn’t like this movie.

    I wonder why there are no good films about artists, most seem to fall into the ‘so bad they are almost good’ category.

  10. I thought the movie was brilliantly acted and done, BUT having read the book it missed capturing the seedy, exploitative, ugly side of the art biz and his personality.they touched on it, but the book gives a much better breadth and understanding of his life. So the movie failed in that regard as far as I’m concerned. He was a tragic figure by his own doing and didn’t treat people very nicely.


  1. […] Julian Schnabel is currently showing at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. View of Dawn in the Tropics: Paintings, 1989-1990 is a dozen or so large abstract works, some billboard sized, from 25 years ago. No plates but plenty of big gestural marks that rely on chance and accident, with a bit of texture, some collage, and text thrown in for good measure. I still think the best thing Julian Schnabel has done is the Jean Michel Basquiat movie. […]

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