Culture / Film

A new Jean-Michel Basquiat Biopic is on the horizon

Jean-Michel Basquiat

And so it seems Samo Lives, this of course being the title of the first-ever retelling of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat and his artistic legacy.

The time has finally come for an in-depth retelling of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The film, directed by black director Julius Onah will focus on the career of the late New York artist. Cyrano's Kelvin Harrison Jr is set to take on the titular role; marking the second time the two have collaborated together. The first being back in 2019 with the film Luce which explored similar themes.

The film will explore the life of the Haitian-Puerto Rican-American artist, his career and his legacy. The work from the artist himself has been considered some of the most prominent of the Neo-Expressionist movement. The 1980's being one of considerable cultural mayhem; his artistry was reflected in the chaotic nightlife of New York, one that saw him socialise with the art elite. Madonna and Andy Warhol being just some of his inner circle. In 1983, he would become the youngest entry in the Whitney Biennial, at just 22 years old. Sadly, his life would be cut short five years later.

With the news of the release, Onah shared his sentiments for taking on this film stating: "Jean-Michel Basquiat redefined the idea of who ascends to the highest altitudes of the fine art world. But the complexity and richness of his experience as an artist and child of the African diaspora has yet to be dramatized in the manner it deserves". The director continued on to say that it was important to tell his story the right way. Now was the time to create a space to tell a story that looked at the full spectrum. One not only as an artist, but as an African American and and a child from an immigrant family.

We still don't have any final word on an official release date but we'll be sure to keep you updated.


Stay inspired, follow us.