Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Total Pleasure…


What a lovely Sunday.

We we’re up and out by 9:30am, parked and in line to see the outstanding Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit.


King Pleasure, the exhibition at the Starrett-Lehigh building in Chelsea, features more than 200 artworks, 177 which have never been seen as well as artifacts from the collection of the artist’s estate.

The show provides the most detailed personal portrait to date of Basquiat’s development and comes at a time when the artist’s market value continues to soar and his themes of race and self-identity have become even more relevant.

For example, the 41-foot-wide “Nu Nile,” one of two massive paintings that Basquiat made for the Palladium nightclub in 1985, would likely bring millions at auction.


I was always curious about the artist’s use of a crown in many of his paintings.

Allegedly, the crown was inspired by a now changed logo of King World Productions which syndicated one of Basquiat’s favorite shows called, The Little Rascals, where at the end of the show, a crown is sketched on the screen.

Sadly, Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27.

The show requires a timed entrance fee…$45 for adults on weekends, $65 to skip the line, $35 for students, seniors and weekdays.

If you go, buy the tickets online. The senior tickets are $3 less online and either way you have to pay the fees.

You are in for a visual treat.

Many elements of Basquiat’s life and work are recreated. A replica of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting studio at 57 Great Jones Street in NYC is featured.

Warhol paintings of the Basquiat family.


Rooms in the house he grew up in in Brooklyn were recreated usually the family’s actual furniture and various and sundry items.

Take the tour starting with Basquiat’s earliest drawings. King Pleasure is a celebration of life, legacy and Basquiat’s voice.

Andy Warhol painting of Basquiat.

The King Pleasure is all that.

BTW, King Pleasure is named after the 1987 painting Basquiat did as a tribute to the song of the same name that WBLS DJ Frankie Crocker played to close his radio show every night in the 1970s.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure Starrett-Lehigh Building 601 West 26th Street Chelsea NYC. Tickets online and at the box office. Entrance on 27th Street.

One Comment

  1. Very interesting exhibit – in a building that is interesting in itself. Thank you.

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