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am 2. Juli 2000
I have had a hard time putting down the book--it is very well researched w/ many anecdoates about the artist, and also about the 80s art world, including its various characters. A good read, in that way. I was disappointed I didn't really get a feel for who Baquiat really was--what he felt, what he thought, his philosophy toward his art, etc. It was a lot of "he did this" and "he did that", but I can't say I got a feel for who he was other than that he was tortured, *always* high, outrageous, a total glutton, and likely a brilliant artist. I would have appreciated insight into who he was--I'm still curious--though, as I said, it was interesting otherwise.
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am 29. November 1999
For those expecting a true biography, this one may disappoint. Basquiat's childhood is dispensed with in a scant 10 or so pages, and before the obvious questions are addressed, the author begins dropping names of all the people Basquiat either did drugs, had sex or lived with. The author is a journalist, and the book reads like journalism - a little sensationalist (with just the right amount of mock apology to keep it legit) and fast and loose with the historical record. There is precious little attention given to the cultural background of the late seventies and eighties that led to the appearance of artists like Basquiat and Haring and Scharf. Ms. Hoban does lay bare, almost unwittingly, the pathos of Basquiat's mind, but I kept wanting to know more of where that pathos came from. She did not dig deep enough,something a good historian would have surely done.
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am 25. April 2000
Don't look to this work for any information about Basquiat as an artist. This is a book about fame. It took Ms. Hoban 7 years to write about an artist whose career wasn't even that long. This is a book about the eighties, fame, and excess. You will not learn much about Jean-Michel by reading this book. You will learn about the climate of the eighties art world and the ever-present parasites that the enormous speculation over great artists can create(Braghoomian for instance). The photographs of Jean-Michel are interesting, but because of the ownership of the artist's works, none are present to look at while reading this work. Buy a book of Basquiat's work if you are interested in the artist. If you are interested in the vacuum of New York 1980's culture, check this out at the library--it's not worth purchasing.
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am 10. Februar 1999
i was overjoyed to see a biography on basquiat finally in print. however i was sorely disappointed in the product itself. ms. hoban talks around basquiat through the majority of the book as opposed to talking about him. also there is a great deal of condescension directed at the subject by the author. ms. hoban seems to have researched her subject thoroughly. but her account has glaring inconsistencies with previously published biographical material. which she neglects to even address. let alone clear up.
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am 17. Januar 1999
This book is an amazing view into the world that Jean-Michel lived in... It shows all his glories and his pitfalls and it shows how both equally "made" and "broke" him as an artist as a person. A few places were a little dry, but for the most part, the book was amazing and i was sad to see it end. Jean-Michel lived the "good" life and Hoban portrays all that he saw and did - almost from his eyes... A great read... even if you aren't a fan of Basquit.
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am 25. November 1998
I really enjoyed the book. I wished there was more information given about Basquiat's relationship with his mother and sister then all the info. provided about his associates. I enjoyed reading about how fame, fortune, and drugs turned someone into a king and into a monster simutaniously. I think most of all, it was interesting to read about the rise of the art world in the 80's being that I was only 5 in 1980 and didn't experience that time the way others may have.
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am 10. November 1998
Well written, interesting, and a look into the world of art dealers, drugs; and best of all Basquiat's life of symbols. Everything regarding Basquiat/Warhol relationship... the best part of the story. Highly recommended if your interests fall into this area.
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am 6. Mai 1999
when i first heard of this book coming out i was really excited, not knowing much about the artist beyond his relationship with warhol. after reading this book it looks like the author didnt know much about the artist either.
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