Can't-Miss Art: "Basquiat/Warhol"

It was the era of Studio 54. The end of disco. The beginning of '80s decadence.

In Manhattan, two rising stars were turning the art world (and in some cases, the corporate world) on its head. Jean-Michel Basquiat was challenging the status quo with his SAMO graffiti — stands for "same old shit" — a public commentary on materialism. Of course, once he became famous, Basquiat was as materialistic (and coked up) as any Wall Street hotshot. Andy Warhol, on the other hand, always embraced materialism. His "Factory" was all about production, and he embraced the glitterati, much as they embraced him.

Inevitably, these two artists became friends. They were close. They were rivals. And for two years, they were collaborators. Both died too young, too soon.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art will bring the two together again — well, their work, anyway — in "Basquiat/Warhol," a show that pairs Warhol's Polaroids with a giant canvas by Basquiat. It promises to be one of the highlights of this season, and one thing's for sure: all the glitterati will be there. You should be, too.

"Basquiat/Warhol" opens Jan. 15 and runs through April 4 in Bowdoin's Becker Gallery. For more information, click here.

Above image, Andy Warhol, "Sylvester Stallone," 1980, Polaroid. Courtesy of Bowdoin College Museum of Art.


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