The trailer for the documentary The Radiant Child about the 80′s post-punk artist Jean-Michel Basquait was just released. It is directed by Tamra Davis who was a friend of Basquiat. She shot this when the artist was at the height of his stardom and two years before his death. After his death of a drug overdose in 1988 she put her footage away in a draw. As she explains it on this youtube interview, she knew Basquiat was upset that his friends were selling his art when he only intended them to be gifts. She didn’t want to be another person who just exploited him. It wasn’t until his 2005 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum when she realized how little footage exists of Basquiat that she decided to make the footage public. As Davis states ‘representations of Basquiat in video and literature did not capture the Jean-Michel Basquiat she knew.’ The trailer looks great and I can’t wait to see the film. It is sure to be an art-house classic.
Theatrical Release date July 21st, 2010