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Radiant Child ((FULL))

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is a 2016 picture book biography by Javaka Steptoe about Jean-Michel Basquiat. Using a style similar to Basquiat's, the book tells the story of his childhood and early career. It won the 2017 Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for its illustrations.

Radiant Child

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The story tells of Basquiat's connection to art and his journey towards becoming an artist. The book begins with Basquiat's childhood in Brooklyn where he notices art all around him and enjoys its creation. It tells of his connection to his mother who leaves the home due to mental illness. As a teen Basquiat moves to the Lower East Side and begins as a street artist before moving into galleries. By the end of the book he has become a successful professional artist.

The American Library Association awarded the book the 2017 Caldecott Medal, given annually to the best American Picture book,[10] and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, given to recognize children's books by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience.[11] Immediately following these awards the book sold an additional 1,100 copies.[12] In its King Award citation the ALA, noted how the "collage style paintings with rich texture, bold colors and thick lines take readers on an emotional journey" and called the illustrations "striking."[11]

The Caldecott win came as a surprise as he felt other books had seemed more likely winners.[13] During his Corretta Scott King acceptance speech Steptoe reflected on the ways he had grown as an artist over his career and the inspirations and reasons he was able to be so successful in creating Radiant Child.[14] Steptoe has remarked that these wins, in particular the Caldecott Medal, helped to ensure the black experience was seen and black voices would be heard and served as a platform for him to be heard.[2][15][13] The author/illustrator has also seen the impact that his depiction of Basquiat's mother's mental illness has had on children.[1]

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In life and art Javaka Steptoe can claim a few things in common with the late Jean-Michel Basquiat. Both men were raised in Brooklyn, NY; both were exposed to the art world as children; and both exude a bold, urban vibe in their work. In his dazzling Radiant Child, Steptoe brilliantly explores the life and art of Basquiat.

i don't think i've ever admired an artist more than basquiat. in my art history class, my teacher zoomed through his works so quickly and scoffed at his interviews. i didn't really think much of his works the but when i saw his works at the broad, i fell in love. there's so much soul and just honesty in his work even if it looks so grotesque and childish. he really was too fragile for this world; he literally personifies the word fragile into his works and as someone struggling to figure out what they want in life, i feel fragile as well. jean michel will forever be an inspiration.

His raw, extreme and sometimes child-like style was perceived by some as untrained, which sometimes confused art experts and critics. Others perceived his art as the golden balance between visually appealing and intellectual elements. Basquiat repeatedly explored dualities, such as heritage and modernity, collectivity and property, and originality and inspiration, often driven by a tireless struggle to explore injustice.

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat lead an extraordinary life.And because his life was so rare, dramatic and exceptionally beautiful, the documentary telling his story doesn't have to be.Tamra Davis, director of "Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child" and close friend of the artist, interviewed Basquiat in 1985, at the height of his career in New York. Less than three years later, he died of a heroin overdose at age 27 and Davis shoved her intimate footage into a drawer and left it there for 20 years.The film screened for the first time this year at Sundance Film Festival and is now screening Monday, Sept. 27 at Oriental Theatre at 11:30 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 30 at North Shore Cinema at 3:30 p.m.If you've seen Julian Schnabel's 1996 biopic "Basquiat," a bright and vibrant drama staring David Bowie as Basquiat's close friend and sometimes mentor Andy Warhol, "Radiant Child" comes across as shockingly striped down by comparison. The visual and vocal quality is rough at times -- so much so as to require subtitles -- and the flow is choppy and unpolished.Where this film shines isn't in its ability to paint a picture of the tragic young man as beautiful as his work, but to tell his story through those that knew and loved him. Basquiat himself is largely absent from commentary, save for Davis's interview at which he appears shy, soft spoken and child-like. googletag.cmd.push(function() googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1597166322662-mid-article-1'); ); What he does relinquish, however, is fascinating. He ran away from home as a teenager hoping to escape abuse from his father who had just divorced his mother. He found himself on the streets of lower Manhattan in 1978 living hand-to-mouth -- "I'd walk around for days without sleeping eating nothing but cheese doodles," he says -- among hundreds of other like-minded aspiring artists of all kinds. It was an exciting time to be a part of the "downtown 500" as they were called. Some made it big -- Basquiat courted a young and unknown singer named Madonna during that time and started the band Gray with Vincent Gallo -- and others did not.His broken relationship with his father and his new-found relationship with the famed yet unstable Andy Warhol set the scene for Basquiat's ultimate tragic spiral downward, despite his growing success. Warhol's untimely death sent him into a deep depression, which, compounded by his advancing drug addiction, was too deep a hole to escape.The film leaves you questioning whether there was anything anyone could have done to prevent his loss -- or whether his death at a young age has since solidified him as the most important artist of his generation. More stories on: jean-michel basquiat: the radiant child, jean-michel basquiat, milwaukee film Share with someone you care about:

Julie Lawrence Special to @juliemilwaukee staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

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