“Ladies and gentleman this is your announcer inviting you to another episode of ‘celebrity heroin addict!’ The show that says ‘Oh, no! Not him! I had no idea!’” This somber note, scribbled on a notebook page gives exhibition-goers a unique and never before seen look at the legendary, late Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features a rare look at a collection of his personal notebooks, related pieces on paper, and large scale paintings.
The New York artist is known for his graffiti origins that he carried over into the art world during the 1970’s and 80’s. His career ended tragically at age 27 by a heroin overdose in 1988, immortalizing him in the infamous “27 Club.”
You can check out Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum, which is running through the summer until August 23, 2015.
Words and photography by Joe Ro