The early life of legendary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is celebrated in Magnolia Pictures' upcoming documentary Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Director Sara Driver, herself a part of the New York arts scene, gives a detailed look at Basquiat's early career in New York City, speaking with Fab Five Freddy, Glenn O'Brien, James Nares, Jim Jarmusch, Kenny Scharf, Lee Quinones, Luc Sante, Patricia Field and others to help create a portrait of Basquiat before he became the enduring pop culture icon we know today.
The film will also give viewers a look at early 1980s New York, a place completely different from the New York we now know. According to the press release:
"Drawing upon their memories and anecdotes, the film also uses period film footage, music and images to visually re-recreate the era, drawing a portrait of Jean-Michel and Downtown New York City -pre AIDS, President Reagan, the real estate and art booms – before anyone was motivated by money and ambition. The definition of fame, success and power were very different than today – to be a penniless but published poet was the height of success, until everything changed in the early 1980s. This is New York City's story before that change."
Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat comes to theaters May 11.