Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense, bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while... See full summary »
Jean Michel Basquiat,
Dr. Albert C.Barnes was one of the richest men in America in the late 19th century/early 20th century,after William Randolf Hurst,and others. He became as rich as he was by inventing a treatment for VD (now known as sexually transmitted diseases). With the money he earned,he started collecting art (mainly classical,but some modern art as well). To house all of that art,he started the Barnes Foundation. Albert Barnes also had his dark side:he held a burning grudge toward the city of Philadelphia,so much that he housed his art in a large building,in the guise of an art school,only allowing the students to view the works (mainly as an artistic level,and absolutely not for any kind of monetary reasoning). This did not sit well with the powers that be (in this case,the powerful Annenburg empire,whom Barnes detested with a passion,as well as Philadelphia's museum). After Barnes'death in 1951, the collection fell into the hands of various owners,each with a hidden agenda of their own (including,but not limited to Philadelphia's Lincoln University). The various talking heads that populate this film tell their own take on the who's,what's,when's,where's & why's all of this came to an ugly head,over a period of 50 plus years,until the Barnes collection did eventually find a permanent home in downtown Philadelphia. Don Argot directs & photographs this film,which some have called a one-sided argument for the ownership & control of art (as a business). Not rated by the MPAA,this film contains occasional outbursts of strong language,but is okay for older teenagers that are interested in art.
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