Jean Michel Basquiat Street Art at Gagosian Chelsea Art Gallery

NYC Street Artist Jean Michel Basquiat's painting of a black figure with a crown and a sword with a yellow background at the Gagosian exhibition

We love pretty much everything about Jean-Michael Basquiat, his art and his story. The teenage runaway turned NYC street artist, in the bad-old late-'70s days. Putting his Samo tag everywhere downtown turned him into a stratospheric art star in the 1980s. His extraordinarily prolific career ending in an instant one night in '88, dead from a heroin overdose at age 27.

We love Basquiat's raw, collage style. We love his color palette. We love the the way he so often integrates type into his pieces. We love his sense of humor, sometimes sly, sometimes obscene, sometimes absurd. We love the feeling of New York City Basquiat's stuff, the energy, the complexity, the anger, the grit, the FUN of the city exploding off the "canvas". This is not only art we love to look at but, had if we had the money and the space to hang them, this is art we'd love to live with. 

Two men admiring Jean Michel Basquiat art at the Gagosian exhibition in Chelsea

Basquiat's Gagosian exhibition: A True Blockbuster

All of the above is why we were so excited to hear that Larry Gagosian and his huge 24th Street Chelsea art gallery were throwing the biggest Basquiat exhibition the city has seen since 2005, the (by-the-way) awesome Brooklyn Museum retrospective. With more than 50 of Basquiat art, often spectacularly gigantic works, from collections public and private and spanning the artist's entire career. Jean Michel Basquiat's Gagosian exhibition is a true blockbuster, making us grateful once again to be the trickle-down beneficiary of this city's celebrity art scene.  

Basquiat art of "Joe Making Eggs" with a painting of a black man cooking eggs in a chef uniform

Lines Out the Door for Basquiat Art in Chelsea

Jean Michel Basquiat at Gagosian is so full of terrific pieces that we're not even going to talk favorites. In fact, we walked through the six or seven expansive galleries three times before finally heading back out the door, with self-promises to return at least once more before the show closes in April. Due to fashion week, Chelsea was hopping in general when we went to the Gagosian exhibition, but even so, for a weekday afternoon the crowds here were pretty impressive. During prime, post-brunch time on Saturday afternoons, this will probably be a line-out-the-door situation. And rightly so. To see so many of Basquiat's art in one place–and again, some of the pieces are so large that not many spaces anywhere could pull this off, and all for free.

Basquiat art of two heads painted on a gold background, featured at Chelsea art gallery, Gagosian

Jean Michel Basquiat at Gagosian details 

The Basquiat exhibition will be on display at Gagosian's 24th Street gallery in Chelsea through April 6. Gagosian is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information about Basquiat art at the Gagosian exhibition, visit Chelsea art gallery online!

Man admiring onr of Jean Michel Basquiat pieces at the Gagosian exhibition in Chelsea NYC

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