American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 - 1988), circa 1985.

American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 - 1988), circa 1985.

Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Will Be the Focus of ‘King Pleasure’ Documentary

A documentary about neo-expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is in the works via Boardwalk Pictures.

The late Jean-Michel Basquiat will be centered in the upcoming documentary King Pleasure. On Monday (July 31), producer Boardwalk Pictures and director Quinn Wilson announced that the Neo-expressionist icon’s story will be retold through archival material, including “never-before-seen home movies, notebooks, photographs, animation, and interviews,” per Deadline.

Basquiat’s career in visual art began in the late ‘70s, as he was first recognized in the New York City graffiti scene. Basquiat, a Brooklyn native, would later become one of the youngest artists to have a showcase at the Whitney Biennial exhibition, and was also an occasional collaborator with Andy Warhol. In August 1988, at 27-years-old, Basquiat died from a heroin overdose. Since Basquiat’s death, the artist’s work has been highly sought-after by art collectors, namely JAY-Z and Beyoncé, who highlighted a never-before-seen painting from Basquiat in their 2021 Tiffany & Co campaign.

Also contributing to King Pleasure are Basquiat’s sisters, Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, who run the artist’s estate with their stepmother, Nora Firtzpatrick. The sisters also curated the King Pleasure exhibition, which features over 200 works from Basquiat.

“I have been fortunate enough to gain an intimate understanding of Jean-Michel through the stories and recollections shared by his sisters and stepmother,” said Wilson in a statement on the King Pleasure documentary. “We have discovered a story that cracks the narrative of what we know about the prolific artist. Through his previously unseen artwork, thoughts, and memorabilia, we’ve uncovered a history that shatters the conventional understanding of this icon and I look forward to doing justice to his life’s story and shining a light on him not only as an artist, but as a man.”

“Jean-Michel understood that art lives on beyond generations and that after his death, his art would continue to reveal new layers of meaning to our shared human experience,” added Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux. “With so many false depictions and narratives surrounding the life of our brother, we’re thrilled to recenter the legacy of the Jean-Michel we knew and loved dearly.”