The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat]

Object Details


[Portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat]


Andy Warhol (American, 1928 - 1987)






Polaroid dye diffusion print

Object Number:



9.5 × 7.3 cm (3 3/4 × 2 7/8 in.)


© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Object Description

He's the kid who...used to sit on the sidewalk in Greenwich Village and paint T-shirts, and I'd give him $10 here and he's on Easy Street. He's got a great loft on Christie Street. He was a middle-class Brooklyn kid--I mean, he went to college and things--and he was trying to be like that, painting in the Greenwich Village....I took a Polaroid and he went home and within two hours a painting was back, still wet of him and me together. And I mean, just getting to Christie Street must have taken an hour. He told me his assistant painted it.

Thus Andy Warhol described his first impressions of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Warhol made this portrait in the fall of 1982, when he was first formally introduced to the newly famous twenty-one-year-old painter. Warhol was one of Basquiat's heroes; the young star, in turn, represented for Warhol the creative sexual energy of the 1960s. The two prolific artists carried on an intense friendship in the mid-eighties, culminating in an artistic collaboration. Basquiat died of a drug overdose before he was twenty-eight, fulfilling his belief that "the true path to creativity is to burn out."

Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York (July 20, 1999 to May 28, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 1999
  • The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), November 6, 1999 to January 30, 2000
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), March 12 to May 28, 2000
Ten Years In Focus: The Artist and the Camera (March 18 to August 10, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 18 to August 10, 2008
Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity (April 3 to September 2, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 3 to September 2, 2012
In Focus: The Camera (July 30, 2019 to January 5, 2020)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 30, 2019 to January 5, 2020

Baldwin, Gordon, and Judith Keller. Nadar Warhol: Paris New York: Photography and Fame. Introduction by Richard Brilliant. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999), p. 175.