There’s a search for a fifth meat- and 19 other things podcasts taught us in 2016

Whether its asking what happens when you watch Sexuality and the City 2 more than 50 periods or which Oscar has won an Oscar, theres no question a podcast somewhere hasnt answered

1 Richard Ayoade utilized a ThunderCats duvet cover until he was in his late 20 s

Where we learned it The Adam Buxton podcast

Adam Buxtons life-affirming, jingle-packed ramble chats with his celebrity guests are a constant delight. In this two-parter, the multi-talented Ayoade went into everything from the height of pillows to the reaction to his notoriously awkward interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy. As funny as the pod is, you are able to learn a lot, too from Buxtons honest discussions of sorrow when his dad died to how upsetting Sara Pascoe finds it when people make clicky sticky noises with their mouths.

Other lessons from this podcast Louis Theroux does a fine rendition of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. Ellie Violet Bramley

Malcolm
Journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell. Photo: Anne Bailey

2 One of the biggest auto remembers in history may have been caused by drivers pressing the incorrect pedal

Where we learned it Malcolm Gladwells Revisionist History

If you are familiar with Gladwells work, then Revisionist History is both a treat and familiar territory. The New Yorker novelist often takes assumptions and things we might think to be true and unravels them to end up in a different place altogether. In his bestseller Blink, he explained why it might not have been so unusual that an unarmed man was shot 41 periods by New York police. In the best episode of Revisionist History, Gladwell seemed back at Toyotas sudden unintended acceleration phenomenon, which led to a gigantic fine for the car manufacturer. The conclusion after we listen to a 911 call in which a man is driven to his death by a car that wont slow down was not that the cars accelerators were sticking, but that drivers unfamiliar with certain vehicles were having a brain malfunction that entailed they were physically unable to differentiate between the brake and the accelerator.

Other lessons from this podcast American colleges with the nicest canteens are the worst choices for poor students; if you want to score the most free-throws in basketball, do them underarm. Will Dean

3 One day, everyone in Sweden switched to driving on the opposite side of the road

Where we learned it 99% Invisible

You neednt be an architecture or design fanatic to enjoy Roman Marss gentle unpicking of how the world around us came to look and function as it does. As well as stories about the origins of the inflatable humen they have outside vehicle dealers in the US, and why they used to publicize missing children on milk cartons, you can learn about Hgertrafikomlggningen , or H-day 3 September 1967 when everyone in Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right.

Other lessons from this podcast Californias Salton Sea was formed by mistake; 20 years ago, the world became obsessed with a phone booth in the middle of the Mojave desert. Leah Harper

4 Having your own podcast wont win you an election

Where we learned it With Her

How do we know that Hillary Clinton enjoyed a Cuban sandwich and a beer at the end of a day on the road? Well, she had her own campaign podcast, about the little details of being on the trail. In the first episode, Max Linsky, of the podcast Longform, talked to her in Miami about what she was going to have for dinner that evening. As the first presidential nominee to have a campaign podcast, Clinton tried to harness the power of the medium to presents a more personable side of herself. Suffice to say, it didnthave the desired effect.

Other lessons from this podcast Clinton is a TED talks fan and has to ration her Elena Ferrante novels. EVB

My
The hosts of My Dad Wrote a Porno.

5 Theres more than one style of motivating your marketings force

Where we learned it My Dad Wrote a Porno

Pots-and-pans marketings supremo Belinda Blumenthal can find lust in any situation even when she is lost in an ornamental maze. The starring of the erotic fiction written by comedian Jamie Mortons father has taught the world that a regional sales meeting has just as much potential for naked fun as a business trip-up to Amsterdam. Other things she has appropriated into her libidinous realm include a charity tombola, Herb Alpert, a chalet, a pomegranate, a horsebox and any sentence involving the words further access. What she has taught listeners about her ridiculously sexy life is a possibility unsavoury, but via Mortons podcast it has brought a whole lot of mirth.

Other lessons from this podcast There is such a thing as a vaginal lid; never read erotic fiction written by your daddy. Hannah Verdier

6 Sacha Baron Cohen has been known to use a getaway car

Where we learned it WTF

Marc Marons WTF can be off-putting: the hosts 15 -minute opening monologue and guitar jams are often enough to deter new listeners. But when it comes to teasing out colorful details from the careers of some of Hollywoods funniest and finest, Maron is the master. Grimsby may have bombed in the cinemas, but it was worth it for the interview Baron Cohen did with Maron to promote the cinema. The best bits were the details of the logistical difficulties of making Brno, from how a redneck fight crowd were deceived into watching a homoerotic romp to how Baron Cohen managed to escape Kansas police after being caught with, among other things, a pedal-powered sexuality machine in a hotel room.( He had a automobile waiting outside with the engine running .)

Other lessons from this podcast Asking what peoples parents were like rarely gets a dull answer; if you have the US president over to record in your garage, youd better have nice neighbours; William Friedkin is the best storyteller in Hollywood. WD

Alix
Alix Fox looks into people sex lives. Photo: Ken McKay/ Rex/ Shutterstock

7 Having two vaginas doesnt mean you can have vaginal sexuality with two men at the same time

Where we learned it Close Encounters from the Guardian

Alix Fox pries into the complicated and fascinating lives of people for whom sex is not always entirely straightforward, from a polyamorous couple to a man paralysed from the waist down just before his honeymoon. An extraordinary interview with double-barrelled Hazel, who talked openly about the effect her condition has had on her and may have on her if she wants to have infants is the standout so far.

Other lessons from this podcast Russian-doll-style dildos can cure vaginismus; having cold feet can help to delay an orgasm. LH

8 The search for a fifth meat continues

Where we learned it The Beef and Dairy Network podcast

The centuries-old assumption that there are only four meats beef, lamb, pork and chicken is crumbling after unconfirmed reports that the European Space Agency has identified a mysterious fifth meat. The Beef and Dairy Network podcast, produced by comedian Ben Partridge, is the No 1 podcast for those involved or simply interested in the production of beef animals and dairy herds. Featuring guest appearances from agricultural experts such as Josie Long, and attracting fans including Miranda Sawyer, it is a surreal beefstravaganza.

Other lessons from this podcast According to Beef and Dairy Network sponsor Mitchells, 90% of livestock can kick through a ships hull after just one month of taking hoof-strengthening supplement Steel Hoof Deluxe. EVB

A
Dont put this cow in your ships hull. Photo: Brian Brown/ Getty Images

9 John Oliver is not dead

Where we learned it The Bugle

For a decade, long-time comedy partners John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman set the world to rights via the medium of their audio newspaper for a visual world. Their riffs on anything from civil liberty( Like dogs, John, we love our own, but we get actually vexed when other people civil liberties keep shitting on our lawns) to Texas barbecues( All I know is this, Andy: if I was a cow, and I knew that I could savour like that, Id find it very hard to make a coherent example for not being instantly killed and slow-cooked) often attained the prove the funniest thing you could get on Wi-Fi. With Oliver having left the Daily Show to front his own display on HBO, the Bugle went into satirical hibernation. It awoke in mid-October, just in time for a political event so ridiculous that even Zaltzman at his most surreal couldnt have imagined it. The pods Have I Got News for You-style rotating guest co-hosts now include US comics Wyatt Cenac and Hari Kondabolu, as well as Brit Nish Kumar and brilliant Indian standup Anuvab Pal. They dont know each other as well as best friends Zaltzman and Oliver, but perhaps the other co-host, Andys sister Helen, could claim an advantage on that front. The Bugle is dead, long live the Bugle.

Other lessons from this podcast Bashar al-Assad bought LMFAOs Im Sexy and I Know It as the Syrian civil war raged. WD

10 A bloke operating a driving school in Acton, west London, was also helping to prop up the capital punishment in the US

Where we learned it More Perfect

In a residential area of west London, inside a build with a banner that reads Elgone Driving Academy, is a guy in his 50 s who looks a bit like William Hurt and who was the one-man operation helping to provide the medications used for capital punishment in the US. That was until a human rights charity alerted the UK government to his pharmaceutical broom closet of demise. In the inaugural episode of More Perfect, a Radiolab spin-off looking at how US supreme court cases affect lives miles away from the bench, the presenters investigated those three little words from the US constitution: cruel and unusual.

Other lessons from this podcast An unusual 911 call made in Houston, Texas, in 1998, led to one of the most important point LGBTQ rights decisions in the courts history, effectively stimulating homosexual relations a basic civil right. EVB

11 The political insiders word for people panicking about a Trump win was bedwetters

Where we learned it Keepin it 1600

A politics podcast hosted by Barack Obamas former speechwriter and a senior communications consultant ought to scream wonkishness, but Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer may be the two most engaging analysts of a bonkers election campaign. Having been at the heart of two US election blizzards, they alongside other hosts Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor know, inside-out, how this world works and share it. Their near certainty about a Clinton win up to the morning of the election induced 1600 one of the most reassuring political podcasts you could listen to and induce their morning-after mea culpa on 9 November all the more extraordinary. Now its truly time to wet the bed.

Other lessons from this podcast The Obama team realised it was impossible to disprove crazy lies about its candidate after Fox News said in 2008 that the young Obama had been raised a Muslim when the team complained, they were told that it was an entertainment show. WD

12 Billy Joel has really soft hands

Where we learned it Two Dope Queens

Comedians and co-podcast hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams went where two black women have never gone before a Billy Joel concert. They sneaked in their ros in suntan lotion bottles bought on Amazon the kind that get white girls, watching the Shins, through Coachella. And, having been given front-row tickets because Billy likes to see fairly women up at the front, they got to shake his baby-soft hands. If thats not informative enough for you, listen to the other episodes of this snort-out-loud-funny podcast from WNYC and hear some of New Yorks best female comedians talking about sex, romance, race, hair journeys and living in the city.

Other lessons from this podcast Pierce Brosnans volcano thriller Dantes Peak has a lot to tell us about how far we have come since the 90 s; talcum powder is the best method to deal with boob sweat. EVB

13 Tar heroin reeks just like capers

Where we learned it Guys We Fucked

Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson host the anti-slut-shaming podcast, featuring interviews with everyone from Jon Ronson to Stoya( and, as the title gently suggests, people with whom they have had sexuality ). Their interview with Wendi Kent or, as they call her, White Precious who photographs protesters outside abortion clinics, uncovered the reason she can no longer feed capers and what its like to have sex when youre homeless. But its not all heavy-going. The episode titles alone are a treat good luck concealing You didnt go to France because you wanted to masturbate ?, His pubes were haunted? and Period sex: thoughts? from fellow commuters.

Other lessons from this podcast DIY HIV tests can be done at home( or on-air) with a mouth swab; comedians on the circuit all hook up with each other. LH

Sex
There is such a this as too much SatC2 I entail, you knew that already, right? Photograph: Allstar/ Warner/ Sportsphoto Ltd

14 You can watch Sexuality and the City 2 too many times

Where we learned it The Worst Idea of All Time

A lot of time, effort and fund, especially money, went into making this film, says Guy Montgomery. Weve just opened up the most disgusting can of worms. Theres no need to watch SatC2 because he and Tim Batt have done it more than 50 hours for the sake of their podcast( they did the same with Grown Ups 2 ). Mirandas nanny Magda is a spy who is gradually poisoning her, Charlotte is the other one and the whole thing is screaming out for the kind of dialogue that induced the Tv series great.

Other lessons from this podcast We Are Your Friends is next on your hatewatch listing. HV

15 You can have a podcast about a podcast

Where we learned it Slates Serial Spoiler Specials

Slates week-by-week analysis of Serial, 2014 s podcast obsession, is perfect for when everyone else you know is listening far too slowly offering tale recaps, whodunnit hypothesis and critiques of the host, Sarah Koenig. Not to mention digging deep down into Reddit rabbit holes about the two cases covered so far.

Other lessons from this podcast The cow birth in season two can be seen as an agricultural metaphor for the militarys response to Bowe Bergdahls disappearance; its almost impossible to map a timeline via audio. LH

16 Moby is a CD thief

Where we learned it Heavyweight

Jonathan Goldsteins Heavyweight aims to the tell the stories of people whose lives have taken a wrong turn somewhere. One of these was to reunite his 80 -year-old father with his elder friend before it was too late. Another was to reunite his friend Gregor who is haunted by the moment he loaned a box of Cds to a techno-producer friend. The friend, was, of course, Moby, who employed many of them as the basis for his squillion-selling Play. Gregor doesnt want royalties he just wants his Cds back. And Goldstein helps him get them.

Other lessons from this podcast Tracking down your school bullies is an uncomfortable eye-opener( as demonstrated by Julia in episode seven ). HV

17 You can have an -Alist cast in a podcast drama

Where we learned it Homecoming

Although Serial was essentially a piece of investigative journalism, its format proved that podcasting didnt need to be limited in its form. Gimlet Media, functional specialists podcasting company, emerged around the same time as that NPR made and proved its aspirations in the field. Its scripted drama, Homecoming, aimed straight for the stars with a casting including Catherine Keener, Star Wars Oscar Isaac and David Schwimmer. The narrative flips between Keeners characters work at an experimental facility that helps soldiers incorporate back into the community and her present-day life as a waitress. There are plenty of cliffhangers helping to tell the story of what happened in between.

Other lessons from this podcast You dont mess with David Schwimmer. As Colin Belfast, he oozes rage and has the air of a human on the leading edge. HV

18, 19, 20 France buys in most of its frogs legs only one person called Oscar has won an Oscar Donald, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck are the most reprinted comic book characters( that arent superheroes) of all time

Where we learned it Answer Me This !

Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann( plus Martin the soundman) solve listeners queries on a fortnightly basis with questions ranging from the practical to the ethical to the ridiculous. Suffice to say, you are able to learnt more listening to them while doing the washing up than from Heart FM. You will also learn that drunken voicemails are greet, especially from Dave from Smethwick and Graham from Canada.( Its Oscar Hammerstein II, by the way .) LH

The Guardian publishes a wide range of award-winning podcasts daily, from Football Weekly to the Guardian Books podcast, all of which are available on our site , iTunes and other resulting podcast platforms .

Read more: www.theguardian.com

The Book of Hygge review- can the Danes actually teach us how to live?

This book, by Louisa Thomsen Brits, is one of many titles on hygge and the Danish route of living. But hygge has a dark side what if the price of cosiness isnt worth paying?

Hygge voices from the outside like a meme to allow hipsters to grow old: a Danish mode of being, it has no single, literal translation, which is only to be expected, as it is the source of the Danes singular happiness and could only be a wraparound concept. Its baldest definition is cosiness, but that expands, according to The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits, to covering a feeling of belonging and warmth, a few moments of convenience and contentment.

Thomsen Brits, in a self-described beautiful little book, which reliably delivers small pages and an unbelievably large typeface, lists some of the things that give us a feeling of hygge; We hygger with an R it becomes an intransitive verb first thing in the morning when we illuminated a candle at our breakfast table. No, truly, though: who does that? And by lighting fires almost every day. It is a practice as old as sitting around a flame or sharing food with a friend. Hygge practises are, broadly, things that we do that our ancestors would recognise; besides illuminating fires, eating, drinking, eating cake and drinking things that are hot.

It is not a new thought that activities bring pleasure in inverse proportion to how recently they were invented( Facebook; the cello; reading; keeping a puppy as a pet; constructing bread; having sex ). Yet there is certainly a Danish specificity in the prominence of pyromania, and principles crop up repeatedly that are highly specific to the Scandinavian climate. Proverbs swirl: We have a saying in Denmark that there is no truly bad weather, just bad clothes, Helen Russell associates, in her unexpectedly winsome memoir, The Year of Living Danishly ( Icon, 8.99 ). Blankets play a huge role. In heavily pictorial volumes, still lives of slippers are a mainstay.

The valorisation of the cold is maybe the most distinctive feature of the region, and surely the least exportable. It reminded me of an exchange I overheard in the Arctic Circle, between a Swedish sled driver and a travel journalist from the Daily Telegraph. The hack was moaning like some southern cissy because his contact lenses had frozen on to his eyeballs, and Sven said: At least you can protect yourself from the cold. How do you protect yourself from the hot? With factor 15, blind people man responded, and a pina colada. You cant concoct a love of the hearth without a chill wind. If you stay in with the curtains described and a hot chocolate on a warm day, thats not hygge, thats depression.

Almost as a throwaway, Thomsen Brits mentions elements of Danish life that induce them happy yet would go by the more pedestrian name of social infrastructure: Denmarks high standard of living, decent health care, gender equality, accessible education and equitable distribution of wealth all contribute to the measurable happiness of the Danish people. But thats not hygge; your ancestors would not recognise those things, and the sense of belonging is deeper, and stems from immaterial things.

It has three themes, again according to Thomsen Brits interiority, contrast and atmosphere and it doesnt assistance if you dont know what they mean. OK, interiority, since you ask is a perception of being a discrete, bounded presence that exists in relation to others, to place and to the passage of time Mind, home and country are the interiorities of hygge. Nope, still nothing. Its possible that to understand that kind of thing, you need to be someone who gets it before it is said.

One of the most data-rich of the recent richnes of Dane-books, The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking( Penguin Life, 9.99 ), is the one that gets fastest to the dark side of hygge: Danes are not good at inviting new people into their friendship circles. In component, this is due to the concept of hygge; it would be considered less hyggeligt if there were too many new people at an event. So get into a new circle requires a lot of endeavour and a lot of loneliness on the way.

Russell is more blunt on this point, and describes arriving in January, and wandering through streets, shops that are either closed or empty and homes that look unoccupied save for the dim glint of candlelight burning from within. It is spring before anybody talks to her. Danes prefer to gather in limited numbers rather than in large, expansive groups, to emphasise the unity of their small circles, Thomsen Brits writes, concluding the centripetal force of mutuality, warmth and exuberance is sometimes intimidating and impenetrable. Feeling excluded from a group is uncomfortable. Feeling trapped inside one is equally disquieting. There is the downside that the Danish style of socialising could be considered exclusive.

Is
Is there more to hygge than only having a beaker of coffee with a friend? Photograph: Leonardo Patrizi/ Getty Images

Or homogenous, stultifying, bland: books on hygge often include recipes, and there could be no more solid iteration of this tension, that comfort is a hairs breadth away from boredom. Flour, fat, sugar, jam, more sugar, cinnamon if youre lucky: Danes consume twice as many sweets as the average European, and it must be down to some internal hygge energy that they arent fat. Or maybe it is because they are tall.

The origins of hygge lie in the implosion of Danish imperialist ambitions in the 19 th century, given a positive spin by the philosopher NFS Grundtvig, who was contended that the nations outward grandeur was less important that the wellbeing of its people, extrapolating from there a very tight culture of nationhood, Norse lore, folk sing, simplicity and cheerfulness. It is laudable from some angles but very narrow from others, and it brings with it the dispiriting implication that such solid and exemplary egalitarianism is attained possible by a rigidly demarcated in-group.

Even the most inspiring express of modesty and egalitarianism such as the note, in The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl( Piatkus, 10.99 ), that this value of meeknes is knowing who you are so well that you dont need others to attain you feel important. Hence, they try not to overload their children with compliments lose their lustre when that fellowship is so fixed.

There is a contradiction, too, in the notion of hyggeas a design notion elegant interiors, artful draperies, beauty in the domestic realm set against the insistence that it is about simplicity, the calm of aspiration, the respect for predictability and ordinariness, the abnegation of status in favour of togetherness. The Khler vase scandal, described by Wiking, occurred when 16,000 Danes tried to buy a limited edition piece of tableware on the same day, crashing the website. Queues formed outside the shop with the outrage of a breadline. This induces no sense as a worldview: you can either separate significance from trivia, or you cant; live contentedly on love and carbohydrates, or hanker after distinction and novelty; expend your time with the ones who matter, or wait outside a shop.

There is a contradiction at the core of all human yearn, of course: that everyone is simultaneously want safety and adventure, equality and status, intimacy and exhilaration, woodsmoke and fresh air. Yet to enunciate an ethos in which those conflicts are not simply unresolved, but wafted away with a scented candle, seems slippery and opaque, a set of rules in which every pillar could just as well be turned on its head.

The Book of Hygge is published by Ebury. To order a transcript for 10.65( RRP 12.99) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p& p over 10, online orders merely. Phone orders min p& p of 1.99.

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The Jean-Michel Basquiat I knew …

The graffiti artist turned painter became the superstar of the 1980 s New York art scene. Since his death aged 27, his reputation has soared. On the eve of a major UK show, we speak to his friends

It’s always seducing to mythologise the dead, especially those who die young and beautiful. And if the dead person is also astonishingly gifted, then the myth becomes inevitable. Jean-Michel Basquiat was just 27 when he died, in 1988, a strikingly gorgeous young man whose stunning, genre-wrecking work had already brought him to international attention; who had in the space of merely a few years morphed from an underground graffiti artist into a painter who commanded many thousands of dollars for his canvases.

So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that all individuals I talk to who knew Basquiat when he was alive, from girlfriends to collectors, musicians to painters, speaks about him as special. Still, it’s noticeable that they all do. Basquiat- even before he was acknowledged as an artist- was find by his friends as exceptional.

” I knew when I fulfilled him that he was beyond the normal ,” says musician and film-maker Michael Holman, who founded the noise band Gray with Basquiat.” Jean-Michel had his faults, he was mischievous, he had certain things about him that could be called amoral, but setting that aside, he had something that I’m sure he had from the moment he was born. It was like he was born fully realised, a realised being .”

” He was a beautiful person and an amazing artist ,” tells Alexis Adler, a former girlfriend.” I recognised that from the get-go. I knew he was brilliant. The only person around that time I felt the same thing about was Madonna. I altogether, 100% knew they were going to be big .”

Basquiat the man and Basquiat the painter is very difficult to untangle. He lived hard and succumbed harder( from an unintentional heroin overdose ), and had more of the rock-star persona than the art aesthete about him, a cool celebrity sparkle that didn’t always work in his prefer. Some art connoisseurs find his work hard to take seriously; others, though, have an immediate, almost visceral reply. To me, a non-art critic, his work is fantastic: it feels contemporary, with a chaotic, musical sensibility. It’s beautiful and hectic, young and old, graphic, arresting, packed with ambiguous codes; there’s a questioning of identity, especially race, and a sampling of life’s stimulations that takes in music, cartoons, commerce and institutions, as well as celebrities and art greats.( Not sex, though: though he had lots of partners, his paints are rarely erotic .). You could stand in front of a Basquiat painting and be fascinated for hours.

Since he died, Basquiat has had a mixed reputation. There was a time in the 1990 s when he was dismissed as a lightweight. Museums rejected him as a jumped-up wall-sprayer. But over the past few years, his starring has been on the rise and even those who are snooty about his art can’t argue with his cultural influence. A few years ago a Christie’s spokesperson described him, pointedly, as” the most collected artist of sportsmen, actors, musicians and entrepreneurs “. As one of the few black American painters to break through into international consciousness, he is referenced a lot in hip-hop: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Nas and others cite Basquiat in their lyrics; Jay-Z, in Most Kingz, uses the” most monarches get their head cut off” phrase from Basquiat’s painting Charles the First . Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz own his runs, as do Johnny Depp, John McEnroe and Leonardo DiCaprio. Debbie Harry was the first person ever to pay for a Basquiat piece; Madonna owns his art and they dated for a couple of months in the mid-8 0s.

Jean-Michel
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 paint Untitled( LA Painting) selling off $110.5 million( PS85m) at Sotheby’s in New York, to became the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. Photograph: Shutterstock

A household name in the US, Basquiat is less well known in the UK, though the sale, in May, of one of his paintings ( Untitled( LA Painting ), 1982) for $110.5 m( PS85m ), the highest amount ever for an American artist at auction, attained headlines. Now, Boom for Real, a vast exhibition at the Barbican- the first Basquiat show in the UK for more than 20 years- aims to open our eyes. Researched and curated for four years, it follows his career from street to gallery, recognise the exceptional times he was working in, and expands its references from straightforwardly visual art to music, literature, Tv and movies, all areas in which Basquiat experimented. It tries to see things from Basquiat’s point of view.

Eleanor Nairne, co-curator of the prove, explains why there hasn’t been a full retrospective until now. Although Basquiat was immensely prolific during his short life, organizations were slow to recognise his talent.” The period between his first solo depict and his death was six years ,” she tells.” Institutions do not move that quickly. During his lifetime he only had two presents in a public space[ as opposed to a commercial gallery ]. There’s not a single work in a public collecting in the UK .” There are not many in the US, either: the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York has a couple, but when the city’s Museum of Modern Art( MoMA) was offered his work when he was alive, it told no, and it still doesn’t own any of his paints( it has some on loan ). The head curator, Ann Temkin, afterwards admitted that Basquiat’s work was too advanced for her when she was offered it.” I didn’t recognise it as great, it didn’t look like anything I knew .”

Basquiat was born to a middle-class family in Brooklyn. His father was Haitian- quite a strict figure- and his mother, whose mothers were Puerto Rican, was born in Brooklyn. His mothers split up when he was seven and he and his sisters lived with his father, including a move, for a while, to Puerto Rico. His mom, to whom he was close, was committed to a mental hospital when he was 11. Basquiat was rebellious, angry, and moved from school to school. His education ended in New York when, for a dare, he emptied a box of shaving cream over the principal’s head during a graduation ceremony. By 15, he was leaving home on and off. He once slept in Washington Square Park for a week.

New York City in the late 1970 s was utterly unlike it is now: un-glitzy, rough, with many builds burnt out and abandoned.” The city was disintegrating ,” says Alexis Adler,” but it was a very free time. We were able to do whatever we wanted because nobody cared .” Rents were cheap( or people squatted) and downtown New York was a grubby, exhilarating mecca for the artistic dispossessed. The punk scene, centred on the venue CBGB, was giving way to something more experimental, involving art, movie and what would become hip-hop. Everyone used to go every night, everyone was creative, everyone was going to make it big.

” We were all these young kids in New York to carry out our Warhol fantasy ,” says Michael Holman,” but instead of being a ringleader as Warhol was, we were in the band ourselves, making art ourselves, “were in” acting in films, building cinemas, we were all one-man indicates, with a lot of collaborations. That was the norm, to be a polymath. Whether you were a painter, an actor, a poet … you also had to be in a band, in order to truly be cool .”

Basquiat was, of course, in a band, with Holman and others including Vincent Gallo; the latter are called Gray. They formed in 1979, but before that, Basquiat induced his presence felt through his graffiti. Running with his school friend Al Diaz, from 1978 he was spraying the buildings of downtown NYC with their shared SAMO tag. SAMO( c ), originally a cartoon character Basquiat had depicted for local schools magazine, was derived from the phrase” same old shit “. It was meant, in part, to be a irony on corporations and the tag was straightforward , not decorative. Instead of paintings, SAMO( c) asked odd questions, or induced enigmatic, poetic declarations:” SAMO( c) AS A CONGLOMERATE OF DORMANT-GENIOUS[ sic ]” or” PAY FOR SOUP, BUILD A FORT, SET THAT ON FIRE “. The SAMO( c) tag was everywhere. Before anyone knew Jean-Michel Basquiat, they knew SAMO( c ).

Jean-Michel
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz’s SAMO( c) tag. Photograph: Jean-Michel Basquiat /( c) Henry A. Flynt Jr

Basquiat left home permanently at 16 and slept on the sofas and floors of friends’ places, including UK artist Stan Peskett’s Canal Street loft. There he made friends with graffiti artists including Fred Brathwaite( better known as Fab 5 Freddy) and Lee Quinones of graffiti group the Fabulous 5, and stimulated postcards and collages.( Once Basquiat spotted Andy Warhol in a restaurant, popped in and sold him a couple of those postcards .) Brathwaite and Holman put on a party at the loft on 29 April 1979, as a way of bringing uptown hip-hop to the downtown art crowd. Before the party started, Holman recollects, this child turned up, and said he wanted to be in the display. Holman didn’t know him, but” people with that kind of energy, “youve never” stand in their route, you just say, Yes, run !” They set up a large piece of photo newspaper and Basquiat started spraying it with a can of red paint. He wrote:” Which of the following is omniprznt[ sic ]? a) Lee Harvey Oswald b) Coca Cola logo c) General Melonry or d) SAMO .”” And we all went, Oh my God, this is SAMO !” tells Holman. Later at the party, Basquiat asked Holman, who had been in the glam-rock band the Tubes, if he too wanted to be in a band. Gray was formed there and then.

The members of Gray, which settled into the line-up of Holman, Basquiat, Wayne Clifford and Nick Taylor, intentionally employed painting or statue as references, as opposed to music. Their highest expression of kudo was ” ignorant”, used in the same style even worse( meaning good ). Holman remembers playing a gig with a long loop of videotape passing through a reel-to-reel machine and then around the whole band. Brathwaite was at Gray’s first gig, at the Mudd Club in New York, and told afterwards:” David Byrne[ of Talking Heads] was there. Debbie Harry. It was a real who’s who. Everyone was there because of Jean…SAMO’s in a band! They came out and played for simply 10 minutes. Somebody was playing in a box .”

Gray aimed when Basquiat’s painting took off. He was always paint and drawing, initially in the style of Peter Max( believe Yellow Submarine ), but speedily discovered his own esthetic, which use penning, and had elements of Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg. Because he had no fund for canvases, he painted on the detritus he dragged in from the street- doorways, briefcases, tyres- as well as the more permanent elements in his flat: the fridge, the TV, the wall, the floor. About the same day that Gray began, Basquiat started dating Adler, then a budding embryologist( he stepped in to protect her when she innocently elicited a street oppose ). Adler procured a flat- at 527 East 12 th Street- where she still lives today, and they both moved in. There, Basquiat painted on everything, including Adler’s clothes.( When, in 2013, Adler revealed that she had maintained a lot of his run, she sold an actual wall of her flat via a Christies auction: it had a Basquiat painting of Olive Oyl on it.” They were careful about taking it out ,” she tells me.” And now we have glass bricks there instead !”)

Although she and Basquiat were sleeping together, it wasn’t a straightforward boyfriend-girlfriend thing, tells Adler.” It was before Aids, a wild hour, you could have whatever relationship you wanted .” They had separate rooms, and had sexuality with other people. Adler bought a camera to take pictures of Basquiat’s art, and of him mucking about: he played with putty on his nose, was interested in movie and TV( his phrase” boom for real”, used when he was impressed, came from a TV programme ), and shaved the front half of his head, so he would” appear as though he was coming and going at the same time “.

They went out every night to the newly opened Mudd Club, in the Tribeca district. Friend came over until all hours( hard for Adler, who worked in a laboratory by day ). PiL’s Metal Box was on rotation, along with Bowie’s Low and records by Ornette Colman, Miles Davis. Adler loved Metal Box and nailed the cover up on the wall. When Basquiat considered it, he was full of disdain. He took the album down and nailed up William Burroughs’s The Naked Lunch in its place.” He determined it offensive that I would put it up ,” says Adler. It wasn’t good enough to be art in his eyes.

Basquiat
Basquiat on the define of Downtown 81, spray can in hand. Photo: Alamy

Basquiat lasted at Adler’s flat until the springtime of 1980. During that year, his run featured in a couple of group indicates and he played the lead role in the film New York Beat Movie ( eventually released in 2000 as Downtown 81 ; the Barbican indicate will play it in full ). In the film, Basquiat is the star, but it’s fun to play spot-the-famous-person: there are cameos by Debbie Harry, Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quinones; the band DNA and even Kid Creole and the Coconuts make an appearance. The plot is of the day-in-the-life kind: Basquiat plays an artist who strays the street trying to sell a paint so he can get enough fund to move back into his apartment. He sells it, but is paid by cheque, so he club-hops, trying to find a girl he can go home with. You can’t imagine the role was much of a stretch.

When he wasn’t clubbing, Basquiat worked hard- Brook Bartlett, an artist he mentored in the early 1980 s, recollects him painting continuously- and his transformation from being penniless to rich happens between 1981 and 1982. He was by then living with Suzanne Mallouk, who had moved from Canada to become an artist. They’d fulfilled when she was bartending at Night Bird. Basquiat would come in, stand at the back of the room and stare at her. Initially, she thought he was a hobo- “hes having” shaved hair at the front of his head, bleached newborn dreadeds at the back, and wore a coat five sizings too big.” He wouldn’t come to the bar because he had no money for beverages ,” she remembers.” But then, after two weeks, he came in, put a loading of change down and bought the most expensive drink in the place: Remy Martin.$ 7 !”. Mallouk was intrigued. They were the same age and had a lot in common. Basquiat moved into her tiny walk-up flat.

Within eight months, there was fund everywhere. Mallouk:” I watched him sell his first paint to Deborah Harry for $200, and then a few months later he was selling paintings for $20,000 each, selling them faster than he could paint them. I watched him build his first million. We ran from stealing bread on the way home from the Mudd Club and eating pasta to buying groceries at Dean& DeLuca; the refrigerator was full of pastries and caviar, we were drinking Cristal champagne. We were 21 years old .” Basquiat would leave heaps of money around the apartment, buy Armani suits by the dozen, throw parties with” mounds of cocaine “. His rise coincided with a shift in the city: financiers were looking to invest in art, and they were cruising around art shows, snapping up new work.

The first public reveal of Basquiat’s paintings was in 1981: New York/ New Wave, at PS1 in Long Island, brought together by Mudd Club co-founder and curator Diego Cortez. It was a group show that included pieces by William Burroughs, David Byrne, Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpeand Andy Warhol, but Basquiat was given a whole wall, which he filled with 20 paintings.( The Barbican show recreates this, with 16 of the original 20 on display .) His run caused a sensation.

Jean-Michel
Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, 1983. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican

Basquiat gained a trader: Annina Nosei. She dedicated him the basement under her gallery to work in( Fred Brathwaite didn’t approve:” A black child, painting in the cellar, it’s not good, man”, he said afterward ), which was where Herb and Lenore Schorr, benign and interested art collectors, met him. The Schorrs spent some time in the gallery choosing a piece of work, without knowing that Basquiat was running beneath them. Once they’d chose, he came up, and, though other collectors discovered Basquiat threatening or obtuse, they liked him instantly. He didn’t explain his run-” he always said:” If you can’t figure it out, it’s your problem ,” says Lenore; to Bartlett, he said:” I paint ghosts”- but he pointed out portions that he thought he’d done particularly well, such as a snake.

Things were on the up. In early 1982, Nosei arranged for Basquiat and Mallouk to move from their small flat to the much fancier 151 Crosby Street in Soho, and she hosted his first ever solo demonstrate at her gallery: a huge success. Through another dealer, Bruno Bischofberger( his most consistent representative ), Basquiat was formally introduced to Andy Warhol; afterwards, Basquiat instantly made a painting of the two of them, and had it delivered to Warhol, still wet, two hours after they’d parted. They formed the beginning of a relationship. Basquiat was then asked to do a show in LA, at the Gagosian gallery.

Film-maker Tamra Davis, who stimulated the Basquiat documentary Radiant Child ( 2009 ), satisfied him in Los Angeles. She was an assistant at another gallery and a friend brought Basquiat over.” Jean-Michel came and he didn’t have a car and he didn’t know where to go and we depicted him around ,” she says.” That was our assignment. It was the funnest thing ever. I was going to film school, and he really loved films, so we would go to the movies together, talk about them. He was the new thing in town, everyone want to get get to know him. He was so charming, but it was also like hanging out with the Tasmanian demon. Everywhere he went, chaos would occur. You didn’t know what was going to happen next. It was invigorating, but it was also actually tiring .”

Basquiat, though, was never tired. He had unending energy, partly drug-fuelled: he needed it in LA, as he brought no paintings with him. He rarely did, for his proves: instead he’d arrive early at whichever city the present was in and stimulate the paintings there.” He could attain 20 paintings in three weeks ,” says Davis. In 1986, she filmed him working: he would have source books open, the TV on, music playing and worked on several canvases at once. For this first LA show, he generated works including Untitled( Yellow Tar and Feathers ) and Untitled( LA Painting ), the picture that merely cost Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa $ 110.5 m( in 1984, it ran for $19,000 ). Every single one sold.

Once back in New York, Basquiat left Nosei and joined another trader, Mary Boone. His reputation was rocketing. The opening for his solo reveal at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery was packed with celebrities, recall the Schorrs, who consider that particular prove to be his finest, and all the work sold on the first night.

Reviews, however, were scarce. Basquiat’s push-me-pull-you relationship with the art establishment was becoming evident: the trader he wanted, Leo Castelli, repudiated him as too troublesome; there was prejudice against him for his youth, for having first worked as a graffiti artist, for being untrained, and for being black. His work was represented as instinctive, as opposed to intellectual, though he was well versed in art history; some held the patronising idea that he didn’t know what he was doing.

Basquiat’s
Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans, 1983. Photograph: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican
Racism also had an everyday impact: he would leave successful opening parties and find it impossible to get a taxi. Herb Schorr would give him lifts to induce their own lives easier( they would joke that he should wear a peaked cap and be Basquiat’s driver ). George Condo, an artist on the rise at the same period, recalls going to a eatery with him in LA and not being allowed in.” I said:’ Do you know who this is? This is Jean-Michel Basquiat, the most important painter of our time .’ The guy said,’ He’s not coming in. We don’t allow his kind in here .'” Brook Bartlett recollects a trip to Europe in 1982 during which a rich Zurich socialite intimated that she, an 18 -year-old white female, would be a civilising influence on Basquiat, who was four years older and already established. No wonder race became more prominent in his run: in his second LA Gagosian show, in 1983, Basquiat proved paints such as Untitled( Sugar Ray Robinson ), Hollywood Africans , Horn Players and Eyes and Eggs , featuring black musicians, actors and sportsmen.

Drugs, too, were around more and more.” Everyone in the East Village and in the arts world in the 80 s did narcotics. Wall street did narcotics, everyone did medications ,” tells Mallouk. But after Mallouk and Basquiat split up in 1983, Basquiat get increasingly into heroin.” He was sniffing it, smoking it and injecting it ,” tells Mallouk.” There were some models that he was hanging out with that were doing it and that’s how he got into it .” He became unreliable, travelling to Japan on a whim, instead of going to Italy, where he had a demonstrate. But then, his focus was constantly diverted. Everyone wanted him. He was moving into a different world: his old friends still insured him, but intermittently.

During 1984 and 1985, Basquiat’s star shot higher and higher. There was a lot of travel, a lot of attention. He was featured on the front encompas of the New York Times Magazine in a suit with his feet bare. The Warhol estate rented him an all the more important place, a loft on Great Jones Street large enough for him to use as a studio as well as a flat, and in 1985 Basquiat and Warhol had a show of paints that they’d produced collectively. Though the poster for the reveal has subsequently been constantly reworked and sampled( even Iggy Azalea use it on the coverof her 2011 mixtape Ignorant ), at the time, the indicate was not a success. One critic called Basquiat Warhol’s ” mascot “. Tamra Davis tells this was hard for Basquiat.

” He actually thought he was finally going to be appreciated ,” she says.” And instead they tore the depict apart and said these horrible things about him and Andy and their relationship. He got really sad, and from then on it was hard to see a comeback. Anybody that you talked to that assured him around that time, he got more and more paranoid, his dreaded ran deeper and deeper .”

With
With Andy Warhol at their joint show in 1985, which was savaged by the critics. Photo: Richard Drew/ AP

And gradually, gradually his heroin use was catching up with him. Alhough he was greatly inspired by a journey to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and though he had reveals all over the world- Tokyo, New York, Atlanta, Hanover, Paris- it became known among his friends that he was struggling. Mallouk would go over to his Great Jones loft.” I would beg him to get help and he simply couldn’t do it ,” she says.” He threw the TV at me. People would stop me on the street, saying Jean-Michel is in a really bad way, he has places all over his face, he is totally out of it, you need to go and assistance him … It was pretty common knowledge that he was not well .”

In February 1987, Andy Warhol died at persons under the age of 58. Basquiat became increasingly reclusive, though he still generated work for shows, and attained schemes, in early 1988, to revisit Ivory Coast to go to a Senufo village. He began to talk about doing something other than art: write perhaps, or music, or setting up a tequila business in Hawaii. In 1988, he went to Hawaii to get clean: Davis watched him in LA afterwards.” He was sober, he was gonna do better, it was like LA had a bit of Shangri-La about it for him .” But his visit was strange: he brought random people to dinner, people he’d simply met at the airport, and he was unnaturally upbeat, too happy. It built her afraid.

In 2014, Anthony Haden-Guest wrote an article for Vanity Fair that describes in detail Basquiat’s last night: 12 August 1988. In New York, he did narcotics during the day, and was dragged out to a Bryan Ferry aftershow party at bank-turned-club MK by his girlfriend, Kelly Inman, and another friend. He left quickly, with his pal Kevin Bray. They went back to the Great Jones loft, but Basquiat was nodding. Bray wrote him a note.” I DON’T WANT TO SIT HERE AND WATCH YOU DIE ,” it said. Bray read it out to Basquiat, and left.

The next day, Inman went to the apartment at 5.30 pm. Jean-Michel Basquiat was dead.

It was a sad objective to a rocket-flight life. And the subsequent fighting between Basquiat’s estate and various traders over pieces of his work was not pretty. Collectors sued for paintings bought but never received. Traders claimed they owned runs; the estate said they’d stolen them. There were too many Basquiat pieces knocking around on the market( 500 -6 00 canvasses, according to one expert ): the estate would only confirm the provenance of a few. Then the taxman went knocking: Basquiat hadn’t paid taxes for three years before his death.

But the years have softened or resolved the debates, and the run has had a life of its own. Though most of his most important art is owned by collectors, who keep it hidden away, it maintains seeping out, as if drawn to its public. And we want his work, it appears. Not only are institutions finally coming around to his genius, but his work can be seen on T-shirts, on sneakers( Reebok did a Basquiat range ), on the arms of hip-hop artists. Just samples, short clips taken out of context, snippets and hints of the full, mind-whirling Basquiat experience.” He topics things and he references things he wants you to pay attention to ,” says Davis.” His paintings were meant to be seen by as many people as possible. They’re like movies or music , not just for one person alone .”

His art is irrevocably intertwined with their own lives: his charisma and drive, his race, his talent and sad demise. But it is bigger than that. Like the best art, it needs the world and the world needs it. And if you stand in front of a Basquiat and looking, it sings its own song, merely to you.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is at the Barbican, London EC2, from 21 September until 28 January 2018

Basquiat, as remembered by his friends

Basquiat
Basquiat with then girlfriend Suzanne Mallouk. Photograph: Duncan Fraser Buchanan

Michael Holman, musician and film-maker
Basquiat was born fully realised. And if anything, that is the kiss of death: you’re gonna burn brightly and burn fast. If you impressed him, if he complimented you, you simply felt you’d been blessed by a saint, it was a very emotionally and spiritually profound experience. That’s one of the ways and means of calibrate his otherworldliness. Because he would never compliment you if he didn’t believe it to his core.

We all went out[ almost] every night, till 4 in the morning. It was so important. Not merely did we go out and blow off steam, and fulfill people, have sex in the bathroom, get high, all that stuff that you do in clubs. But within the clubs the scene also creatively happened … all kinds of occurs, performances, art presents … Club 57 and Mudd Club, they fed us and they directed us and guided us, brought us along with crucial people, in a way that going to openings or concerts merely didn’t do. It created a community that supported one another. It was a special day. With[ our band] Gray, I videotapeed a microphone to the head of a snare drum, face down, and attached masking tape to the drum, then pulled the masking videotape off and allowed that to be a sound. Jean would loosen the strings on an electric guitar, then operate a metal file across the strings.

In 1982, two years after Jean left Gray, I’d become an avant garde film-maker. I had this cable Tv depict, and I asked him to do an interview. He made it clear to me, without saying anything, that I wouldn’t be able to do this interview if I didn’t get high with him. He was doing base, like a high-end kind of fissure. I’d never done it before and, boy, I’ve never done it since. I could barely maintain my focus. I could scarcely stop shake, but it scarcely affected him. He had such a high tolerance.

He was a sensationalist. He pushed the boundaries of any kind of sensation, anything that would set off his endorphins, his nerve ending, his brain cells. He was after the sensation of something special and brilliant and different and electric and massive. Would he have been good at middle age? Well, part of middle age is the struggle of coming to this place in which you know you’ve plateaued in some way. When we pass that hump and start going down the other route, we are living and dying at the same time. I don’t think he wanted to go there.

Lenore and Herb Schorr, major New York collectors, and the first to recognise and supporting Basquiat
Lenore : We were very excited by the first paint we find by him. This is not a common reaction, we’ve found, even now! He’s a so difficult artist for many, many people. But we just felt he was a wonderful, brilliant artist, very, very early.

Herb : The artists understood him- some of them. They were there first, along with a few professionals. Basically, he had his collector base, but they weren’t knocking down the doors for them as they are today. There was not this hysteria. Really , nothing changes. We’re just finishing reading a book called The Portrait of Dr Gachet by Cynthia Saltzman, which is about a Van Gogh painting, and a lot of it is the same story as Basquiat. It takes 20 years after his death before a Van Gogh enters a museum. Anything which violates new ground takes a while for people to catch up to.

Lenore : Jean was very smart and he knew his art history. Modernism, Picasso, right up to the present and Jean knew it all. So we really had a nice rapport. I could see it in his run, Picasso, Rauschenberg, they were all important influences, he had absorbed their work. It was beautifully rendered, remade in his speech, with his message, with New York at the time, his personal feelings.

Herb : We didn’t see him in a drugged state, well maybe once, he seemed a little angry, he wasn’t the same person. He would call and perhaps he required more fund. Once, he called us up early in the morning and we lived in the suburbs, you know, and he told,” I need fund, I have a painting for you .” But he didn’t turn up by the end of the day …

Lenore : It’s so sad, he tried to get off it. Andy Warhol tried hard with him, they would exercising together.

Herb : We have good memories of him. One day he said he wanted to come up and have a white man’s barbecue.

Lenore : We expected him around three and he shows up at eight, with friends. It was quite a party, there was skinny-dipping- not me!- I had the children here and there was a little pot being smoked, I could reek it, and we were like, We’re gonna be busted! It was a great, fun evening.

Suzanne Mallouk, partner, 1981 -1 983, and lifelong friend
We immediately had this feeling of kindred spirits. We were the same age, I left home at 15, so did he. We were both first generation from immigrant families- my father was Palestinian, his father was Haitian. Both of us didn’t fit into any racial or ethnic group. Both of us suffered racism. We both had old-world fathers who use corporal punishment. My mother is English, from Bolton. His stepmother was English. It was very interesting, the common histories we had. Authoritarian fathers that assured European women as a prize. And I think it really shaped Jean-Michel’s experience. He was intelligent enough to resent that European girls were somehow valued more, he saw the racism in that, yet most of his girlfriends were white. He was conflicted about it; he discussed it with me.

I hated that I had a task and he didn’t. I was an artist, too- how dare he induce me work as a waitress and live off me! Often I would come home and he would take fund out of my handbag to buy medications. We would have terrible battles. He would say,” I promise I’ll look after you when I’m famous, please just let me do my art, I’m going to be famous very soon .” But I didn’t maintain anything, so I didn’t get anything. He didn’t like me keeping things, he would nearly be jealous of his own artwork. He would say,” Why do you want to keep something of mine when you have me ?” Eventually, he gave me the message that really I could no longer be an artist. He was the only artist in the family and I had to look after him. It was kind of misogynist.

It wasn’t that he only considered Andy[ Warhol] as a father figure, he also really had a flirting with him. Often when I was with the two of them together, it didn’t feel like I was there with Jean; it felt like I was there with two homosexual lovers. He once joked with me that he had had sex with Andy, but I don’t know if it was a joke. Jean had a history of being bisexual, but Warhol was asexual, so I don’t know. People misunderstand the relationship if they just think Andy was helping Jean. Jean was already he was highly established, he was already famous or Andy would not have been interested in him. I believe Andy needed new life exhaled into his career; I think the two of them needed each other.

Two weeks before his death, I was living with a new boyfriend in my little East Village hut. Jean rang the buzzer in the middle of the night and we both get up, and told ” Who is it ?”” Jean-Michel, Jean-Michel, is Suzanne there ?” I buzzed him in but he never came up. I operated down the stairs to look for him, but he’d gone, and two week ago he was dead. My heart was violate when I ran down the stairs and he was gone. Because I never stopped loving him. I still feel love for him and he’s been dead for over 30 years.

You’re going to think I’m mad, but I have dreamings, and in the dreamings Jean-Michel is ageing. It’s as though he’s living in a parallel world. And often he’s annoyed that I’m there, he’s like,” Don’t tell anyone I’m here Suzanne. Don’t tell anyone I faked my death, and especially don’t tell the New York Times !” He’s just living a really simple life,

Read more: www.theguardian.com

There’s a search for a fifth meat- and 19 other things podcasts taught us in 2016

Whether its asking what happens when you watch Sex and the City 2 more than 50 days or which Oscar has won an Oscar, theres no question a podcast somewhere hasnt answered

1 Richard Ayoade employed a ThunderCats duvet cover until he was in his late 20 s

Where we learned it The Adam Buxton podcast

Adam Buxtons life-affirming, jingle-packed ramble chats with his celebrity guests are a constant pleasure. In this two-parter, the multi-talented Ayoade went into everything from the height of pillows to the reaction to his notoriously awkward interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy. As funny as the pod is, you will learn a lot, too from Buxtons honest discussions of heartache when his dad died to how upsetting Sara Pascoe determines it when people construct clicky sticky noises with their mouths.

Other lessons from this podcast Louis Theroux does a fine rendition of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. Ellie Violet Bramley

Malcolm
Journalist and writer Malcolm Gladwell. Photograph: Anne Bailey

2 One of the biggest vehicle remembers in history may have been caused by drivers pressing the wrong pedal

Where we learned it Malcolm Gladwells Revisionist History

If you are familiar with Gladwells run, then Revisionist History is both a treat and familiar province. The New Yorker novelist often takes assumptions and things we might think to be true and unravels them to end up in a different place wholly. In his bestseller Blink, he explained why it might not have been so unusual that an unarmed man was shot 41 periods by New York police. In the best episode of Revisionist History, Gladwell looked back at Toyotas sudden unintended acceleration phenomenon, which led to a gigantic fine for the car manufacturer. The conclusion after we listen to a 911 call in which a man is driven to his death by a automobile that wont slow down was not that the cars accelerators were sticking, but that drivers unfamiliar with certain vehicles were having a brain malfunction that entailed the latter are physically unable to differentiate between the brake and the accelerator.

Other lessons from this podcast American colleges with the nicest canteens are the worst selections for poor students; if you want to score the most free-throws in basketball, do them underarm. Will Dean

3 One day, everyone in Sweden switched to driving on the opposite side of the road

Where we learned it 99% Invisible

You neednt be an architecture or design fanatic to enjoy Roman Marss gentle unpicking of how the world around us came to look and function as it does. As well as stories about the origins of the inflatable humen they have outside automobile merchants in the US, and why they used to publicize missing kids on milk cartons, you can learn about Hgertrafikomlggningen , or H-day 3 September 1967 when everyone in Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right.

Other lessons from this podcast Californias Salton Sea was formed by mistake; 20 years ago, the world became obsessed with a phone booth in the middle of the Mojave desert. Leah Harper

4 Having your own podcast wont win you an election

Where we learned it With Her

How do we know that Hillary Clinton enjoyed a Cuban sandwich and a brew at the end of a day on the road? Well, she had her own campaign podcast, about the little details of being on the road. In the first episode, Max Linsky, of the podcast Longform, talked to her in Miami about what she was going to have for dinner that evening. As the first presidential candidate to have a campaign podcast, Clinton tried to harness the power of the medium to show a more personable side of herself. Suffice to say, it didnthave the desired effect.

Other lessons from this podcast Clinton is a TED talks fan and has to ration her Elena Ferrante fictions. EVB

My
The hosts of My Dad Wrote a Porno.

5 Theres more than one way of motivating your sales force

Where we learned it My Dad Wrote a Porno

Pots-and-pans marketings supremo Belinda Blumenthal can find lust in any situation even when she is lost in an ornamental labyrinth. The starring of the erotic fiction written by comedian Jamie Mortons father has taught the world that a regional marketings conference has just as much possibilities for naked fun as a business trip-up to Amsterdam. Other things she has appropriated into her libidinous realm include a charity tombola, Herb Alpert, a chalet, a pomegranate, a horsebox and any sentence involving the words further access. What she has taught listeners about her ridiculously sexy life is a possibility unsavoury, but via Mortons podcast it has brought a whole lot of mirth.

Other lessons from this podcast There is such a thing as a vaginal eyelid; never read erotic fiction written by your father. Hannah Verdier

6 Sacha Baron Cohen has been known to use a getaway car

Where we learned it WTF

Marc Marons WTF can be off-putting: the hosts 15 -minute opening monologue and guitar jams are often enough to deter new listeners. But when it comes to teasing out colourful details from the careers of some of Hollywoods funniest and finest, Maron is the master. Grimsby may have bombed in the cinemas, but it was worth it for the interview Baron Cohen did with Maron to promote the movie. The best bits were the detailed logistical difficulties of attaining Brno, from how a redneck fighting mob were duped into watching a homoerotic cavort to how Baron Cohen managed to escape Kansas police after being caught with, among other things, a pedal-powered sexuality machine in a hotel room.( He had a auto waiting outside with the engine running .)

Other lessons from this podcast Asking what peoples mothers were like rarely gets a dull answer; if you have the US president over to record in your garage, youd better have nice neighbours; William Friedkin is the best storyteller in Hollywood. WD

Alix
Alix Fox looks into peoples sexuality lives. Photograph: Ken McKay/ Rex/ Shutterstock

7 Having two vaginas doesnt mean you can have vaginal sex with two men at the same time

Where we learned it Close Encounters from the Guardian

Alix Fox pries into the complicated and fascinating lives of people for whom sexuality is not always solely straightforward, from a polyamorous couple to a man paralysed from the waist down just before his honeymoon. An extraordinary interview with double-barrelled Hazel, who talked openly about the effect her condition has had on her and may have on her if she wants to have infants is the standout so far.

Other lessons from this podcast Russian-doll-style dildos can cure vaginismus; having cold feet can help to delay an orgasm. LH

8 The search for a fifth meat continues

Where we learned it The Beef and Dairy Network podcast

The centuries-old assumption that there are only four meats beef, lamb, pork and chicken is crumbling after unconfirmed reports that the European Space Agency has identified a mysterious fifth meat. The Beef and Dairy Network podcast, produced by comedian Ben Partridge, is the No 1 podcast for those involved or merely interested in the production of beef animals and dairy herds. Featuring guest appearances from agricultural experts such as Josie Long, and attracting fans including Miranda Sawyer, it is a surreal beefstravaganza.

Other lessons from this podcast According to Beef and Dairy Network sponsor Mitchells, 90% of livestock can kick through a ships hull after only one month of taking hoof-strengthening supplement Steel Hoof Deluxe. EVB

A
Dont put this cow in your ships hull. Photograph: Brian Brown/ Getty Images

9 John Oliver is not dead

Where we learned it The Bugle

For a decade, long-time comedy partners John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman put the world to rights via the medium of their audio newspaper for a visual world. Their riffs on anything from civil liberties( Like dogs, John, we love our own, but we get genuinely vexed when other people civil liberty maintain shitting on our lawns) to Texas barbecues( All I know is this, Andy: if I was a cow, and I knew that I could savour like that, Id find it very hard to make a coherent lawsuit for not being instantly killed and slow-cooked) often made the indicate the funniest thing you could get on Wi-Fi. With Oliver having left the Daily Show to front his own demonstrate on HBO, the Bugle went into satirical hibernation. It awoke in mid-October, just in time for a political event so ridiculous that even Zaltzman at his most surreal couldnt have imagined it. The pods Have I Got News for You-style rotating guest co-hosts now include US comics Wyatt Cenac and Hari Kondabolu, as well as Brit Nish Kumar and brilliant Indian standup Anuvab Pal. They dont know each other as well as best friends Zaltzman and Oliver, but perhaps the other co-host, Andys sister Helen, could claim an advantage on that front. The Bugle is dead, long live the Bugle.

Other lessons from this podcast Bashar al-Assad bought LMFAOs Im Sexy and I Know It as the Syrian civil war raged. WD

10 A bloke operating a driving school in Acton, west London, was also helping to prop up the capital punishment in the US

Where we learned it More Perfect

In a residential area of west London, inside a build with a banner that reads Elgone Driving Academy, is a guy in his 50 s who appears a bit like William Hurt and who was the one-man operation helping to provide the drugs used for capital punishment in the US. That was until a human rights charity alerted the UK government to his pharmaceutical broom closet of demise. In the inaugural episode of More Perfect, a Radiolab spin-off looking at how US supreme court cases affect lives miles away from the bench, the presenters investigated those three little words from the US constitution: cruel and unusual.

Other lessons from this podcast An unusual 911 call made in Houston, Texas, in 1998, led to one of the most important point LGBTQ rights decisions in the courts history, effectively stimulating homosexual relations a basic civil right. EVB

11 The political insiders term for people panicking about a Trump win was bedwetters

Where we learned it Keepin it 1600

A politics podcast hosted by Barack Obamas former speechwriter and a senior communications adviser ought to call wonkishness, but Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer may be the two most engaging analysts of a bonkers electoral campaign. Having been at the heart of two US election blizzards, they alongside other hosts Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor know, inside-out, how this world runs and share it. Their near certainty about a Clinton win up to the morning of the election stimulated 1600 one of the most reassuring political podcasts you could listen to and stimulate their morning-after mea culpa on 9 November all the more extraordinary. Now its actually time to wet the bed.

Other lessons from this podcast The Obama team realised it was impossible to refute crazy lies about its candidate after Fox News said in 2008 that the young Obama had been raised a Muslim when the team complained, they were told that it was an entertainment show. WD

12 Billy Joel has really soft hands

Where we learned it Two Dope Queens

Comedians and co-podcast hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams ran where two black girls have never gone before a Billy Joel concert. They sneaked in their ros in suntan lotion bottles bought on Amazon the kind that get white girls, watching the Shins, through Coachella. And, having been given front-row tickets because Billy likes to see fairly girls up at the front, they got to shake his baby-soft hands. If thats not informative enough for you, listen to the other episodes of this snort-out-loud-funny podcast from WNYC and hear some of New Yorks best female comedians talking about sex, romance, race, hair journeys and living in the city.

Other lessons from this podcast Pierce Brosnans volcano thriller Dantes Peak has a lot to tell us about how far we have come since the 90 s; talcum powder is the best method to deal with boob sweat. EVB

13 Tar heroin reeks just like capers

Where we learned it Guys We Fucked

Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson host the anti-slut-shaming podcast, featuring interviews with everyone from Jon Ronson to Stoya( and, as the title gently suggests, people with whom they have had sexuality ). Their interview with Wendi Kent or, as they call her, White Precious who photographs protesters outside abortion clinics, disclosed the reason she can no longer eat capers and what its like to have sex when youre homeless. But its not all heavy-going. The episode titles alone are a treat good luck concealing You didnt go to France because you wanted to masturbate ?, His pubes were haunted? and Period sex: believes? from fellow commuters.

Other lessons from this podcast DIY HIV tests can be done at home( or on-air) with a mouth swab; comedians on the circuit all hook up with one another. LH

Sex
There is such a this as too much SatC2 I mean, you knew that already, right? Photograph: Allstar/ Warner/ Sportsphoto Ltd

14 You can watch Sexuality and the City 2 too many times

Where we learned it The Worst Idea of All Time

A lot of time, attempt and money, especially money, went into making this film, tells Guy Montgomery. Weve just opened up the most disgusting can of worms. Theres no need to watch SatC2 because he and Tim Batt have done it more than 50 periods for the sake of their podcast( they did the same with Grown Ups 2 ). Mirandas nanny Magda is a spy who is gradually poisoning her, Charlotte is the other one and the whole thing is crying out for the kind of dialogue that constructed the TV series great.

Other lessons from this podcast We Are Your Friends is next on your hatewatch list. HV

15 You can have a podcast about a podcast

Where we learned it Slates Serial Spoiler Specials

Slates week-by-week analysis of Serial, 2014 s podcast preoccupation, is perfect for when everyone you know is listening far too slowly offering narrative recaps, whodunnit hypothesis and critiques of the host, Sarah Koenig. Not to mention excavating deep down into Reddit rabbit pits about the two cases encompassed so far.

Other lessons from this podcast The cow birth in season two can be seen as an agricultural metaphor for the militarys response to Bowe Bergdahls disappearance; its almost impossible to map a timeline via audio. LH

16 Moby is a CD thief

Where we learned it Heavyweight

Jonathan Goldsteins Heavyweight aims to the tell the stories of people whose lives have taken a incorrect turn somewhere. One of these was to reunited his 80 -year-old father with his elder friend before it was too late. Another was to reunite his friend Gregor who is haunted by the moment he loaned a box of Cds to a techno-producer friend. The friend, was, of course, Moby, who used many of them as the basis for his squillion-selling Play. Gregor doesnt want royalties he only wants his CDs back. And Goldstein helps him get them.

Other lessons from this podcast Tracking down your school bullies is an uncomfortable eye-opener( as demonstrated by Julia in episode seven ). HV

17 You can have an -Alist cast in a podcast drama

Where we learned it Homecoming

Although Serial was essentially a piece of investigative journalism, its format proved that podcasting didnt need to be limited in its form. Gimlet Media, a specialist podcasting company, emerged around the same hour as that NPR made and proved its aspirations in the field. Its scripted drama, Homecoming, aimed straight for the stars with a casting including Catherine Keener, Star Wars Oscar Isaac and David Schwimmer. The story flips between Keeners characters work at an experimental facility that helps soldiers incorporate back into the community and her present-day life as a waitress. There are plenty of cliffhangers helping to tell the story of what happened in between.

Other lessons from this podcast You dont mess with David Schwimmer. As Colin Belfast, he oozes rage and has the air of a man on the leading edge. HV

18, 19, 20 France buys in most of its frogs legs only one person called Oscar has won an Oscar Donald, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck are the most reprinted comic book characters( that arent superheroes) of all time

Where we learned it Answer Me This !

Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann( plus Martin the soundman) solve listeners queries on a fortnightly basis with questions ranging from the practical to the ethical to the ridiculous. Suffice to say, you are able to learnt more listening to them while doing the washing up than from Heart FM. You will also learn that drunken voicemails are greet, especially from Dave from Smethwick and Graham from Canada.( Its Oscar Hammerstein II, by the way .) LH

The Guardian publishes a wide range of award-winning podcasts daily, from Football Weekly to the Guardian Books podcast, all of which are available on our site , iTunes and other leading podcast platforms .

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Michael B. Jordan Is a Black Panther Encyclopedia

In Black Panther , the titular hero is played by Chadwick Boseman, but it might be his cinematic antagonist who knows more about his character. When we sat down with the casting of the new Marvel movie and started asking questions about the Wakandan king T’Challa, it was Michael B. Jordan, who plays scoundrel Erik Killmonger, who knew the most comic book history about his onscreen foe.

Need proof? Ask Jordan who Black Panther is and he won &# x27; t just say “the king of Wakanda, ” he &# x27; ll “says hes” “fought Captain America throughout Marvel comic history.” Ask him if the hero has superpowers and he’ll react, “Yeah, he does. He takes a Heart-Shaped Herb; it devotes him super strength, a lot of cat-like qualities. Pretty cool.” Ask him whether T’Challa or Cap is stronger and the answer is: “They’re the same, but Black Panther edged out Captain America in almost every battle that they had throughout Marvel history.” He even has an excellent argument for who would win in a battle between T &# x27; Challa and Wolverine. Sure, some of his intel may have been in the script, but there &# x27; s no denying Jordan is an encyclopedia of Wakandan knowledge.

But that’s only the beginning of the fun facts in this Google Autocomplete interview. Watch the video above to find out whether Boseman has siblings, how many languages Lupita Nyong’o( Nakia) speaks, and which member of the cast is good at karaoke.( Hint: It’s the one who once played a famous soul vocalist .)

Read more:

Sunlights Out review- half-baked horror gropes around for a point

The central conceit a ghoul you can only see in the dark is smart, but the only bumps in the night is likely to be the voices of viewers nodding off

Few genres lend themselves to nostalgia like horror. From the Universal Monstersto cheeseball Vampira-hosted B images, from Italian giallo to gory 80 s exploitation flicks in enormous VHS suits, one can reflect lovingly on it all. Even the distasteful torturing porn of the early 21 st century wins a few points just for pissing so many people off. But who will ever be nostalgic for the mainstream horror films that are inundating our marketplace today? Lights Out is yet another half-baked, PG-1 3 scare-em snoozer centered on an underdeveloped supernatural theory that wont even give children a good nightmare. I know its summertime, and some of the programming can be ephemeral, but Lights Outs greatest accomplishment is how you can feel yourself forgetting this 81 -minute piffle as you are actually watching it. That genuinely takes something.

It would, however, be unfair not to at least praise its central gimmick, the same one may be in director David F Sanbergs viral two-and-a-half-minute video that grabbed the attention of the horror mogul James Wan. Basically, theres a ghoul that you can only see when its dark. Did I consider a weird silhouette? Let me switch on the light. Nope , nothing. Turn the light off again and the creepy, semi-visible being with catlike tapetum lucidum is even closer! Genuinely horrifying no matter how many times you see it.

Is this something you can stretch out into an entire movie? Sure! Herman Melville stretched out there once was a fish this big but it got away! into the greatest novel in American letters. But Lights Out doesnt come up with anything creative. Instead it bogs down with typical bumps in the night as a screwy mama( Maria Bello) deals with her netherworld demons, threatening the safety of her young son Martin( Gabriel Bateman ). Arriving to Martins aid is his older half-sister, Rebecca( Teresa Palmer ), who must give up her lifestyle of fast living to accept being an adult. Her irresponsible routes manifest themselves in the heavy metal posters that hang in the bachelorette pad. Youll notice them as she kicks her boyfriend( Alexander DiPersia) out after their intimate visits. Shes a bad daughter! Teresa Palmer may look like the picture of health, but we know shes got problems because she lives above a tattoo parlor that blinks a red neon light all through the night.

That anachronistic situated design serves a plot purpose, though, when Mom sends over her undead darkness ogre. The rhythm of the flashing sign dedicates the sequence an entertaining cadence, one of about three moments in which Lights Out delivers on the promise of that viral video.( Another great moment involves inserting a carport into a chase .)

These very limited grace notes tell us that director Sanberg indeed has some visual chops, and could very well have a solid horror feature inside of him that will come out one day. Regrettably, the script to Illuminate Out, which can basically be summed up as The Babadook but dumb, is not the project that will bring his talents into view. This is a movie that just floats along until it becomes socially irresponsible not to disclose some sort of explain. Then our hero stumbles upon a file cabinet with annotated photographs and a 30 -year-old micro-cassette player that: a) still runs and b) is set to the precise phase where hitting play gives you all your answers. Are the AA batteries possessed with supernatural powers, too? Maybe thats for the sequel.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

A black superhero who’s no second prize- Black Panther is a Marvel | Eliza Anyangwe

The comic-book adaptation is both a perfectly timed political commentary and a festivity of blackness, tells the freelance novelist Eliza Anyangwe

The Jean-Michel Basquiat I knew …

The graffiti artist turned painter became the superstar of the 1980 s New York art scene. Since his death aged 27, his reputation has risen. On the eve of a major UK show, we speak to his friends

It’s always tempting to mythologise the dead, especially those who die young and beautiful. And if the dead person is also astonishingly gifted, then the myth becomes inevitable. Jean-Michel Basquiat was just 27 when he died, in 1988, a strikingly gorgeous young man whose stunning, genre-wrecking work had already brought him to international attention; who had in the space of just a few years morphed from an underground graffiti artist into a painter who commanded many thousands of dollars for his canvases.

So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that everyone I talk to who knew Basquiat when he was alive, from girlfriends to collectors, musicians to painters, speaks about him as special. Still, it’s noticeable that they all do. Basquiat- even before he was acknowledged as an artist- was considered by his friends as exceptional.

” I knew when I satisfied him that he was beyond the normal ,” says musician and film-maker Michael Holman, who founded the noise band Gray with Basquiat.” Jean-Michel had his faultings, he was mischievous, he had certain things about him that could be called amoral, but defining that aside, he had something that I’m sure he had from the moment he was born. It was like he was born fully realised, a realised being .”

” He was a beautiful person and an amazing artist ,” tells Alexis Adler, a former girlfriend.” I recognised that from the get-go. I knew he was brilliant. The only person around that time I felt the same thing about was Madonna. I wholly, 100% knew they were going to be big .”

Basquiat the man and Basquiat the painter is very difficult to untangle. He lived hard and died harder( from an unintentional heroin overdose ), and had more of the rock-star persona than the art aesthete about him, a cool celebrity sparkle that didn’t always work in his favour. Some art connoisseurs find his work hard to take seriously; others, though, have an immediate, almost visceral reaction. To me, a non-art critic, his work is fantastic: it feels contemporary, with a chaotic, musical sensibility. It’s beautiful and hectic, young and old, graphic, arresting, packed with ambiguous codes; there’s a questioning of identity, especially race, and a sampling of life’s stimuli that takes in music, cartoons, commerce and institutions, as well as celebrities and art greats.( Not sex, though: though he had lots of partners, his paints are rarely erotic .). You could stand in front of a Basquiat painting and be fascinated for hours.

Since he died, Basquiat has had a mixed reputation. There was a time in the 1990 s when he was dismissed as a lightweight. Museums repudiated him as a jumped-up wall-sprayer. But over the past few years, his superstar has been on the rise and even those who are snooty about his art can’t argue with his culture influence. A few years ago a Christie’s spokesperson described him, pointedly, as” the most collected artist of sportsmen, actors, musicians and entrepreneurs “. As one of the few black American painters to break through into international consciousness, he is referenced a lot in hip-hop: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Nas and others cite Basquiat in their lyrics; Jay-Z, in Most Kingz, uses the” most monarches get their head cut off” phrase from Basquiat’s painting Charles the First . Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz own his runs, as do Johnny Depp, John McEnroe and Leonardo DiCaprio. Debbie Harry was the first person ever to pay for a Basquiat piece; Madonna owns his art and they dated for a couple of months in the mid-8 0s.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 paint Untitled( LA Painting) selling off $110.5 million( PS85m) at Sotheby’s in New York, to became the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. Photo: Shutterstock

A household name in the US, Basquiat is less well known in the UK, though the sale, in May, of one of his paints ( Untitled( LA Painting ), 1982) for $110.5 m( PS85m ), the highest amount ever for an American artist at auction, made headlines. Now, Boom for Real, a vast exhibition at the Barbican- the first Basquiat show in the UK for more than 20 years- aims to open our eyes. Researched and curated for four years, it follows his career from street to gallery, recognise the exceptional days he was working in, and expands its references from straightforwardly visual art to music, literature, Tv and movies, all areas in which Basquiat experimented. It tries to see things from Basquiat’s point of view.

Eleanor Nairne, co-curator of the prove, explains why there hasn’t been a full retrospective until now. Although Basquiat was immensely prolific during his short life, institutions were slow to recognise his talent.” The hour between his first solo present and his death was six years ,” she tells.” Institutions do not move that promptly. During his lifetime he only had two demonstrates in a public space[ as opposed to a commercial gallery ]. There’s not a single work in a public collecting in the UK .” There are not many in the US, either: the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York has a couple, but when the city’s Museum of Modern Art( MoMA) was offered his run when he was alive, it told no, and it still doesn’t own any of his paints( it has some on loan ). The head curator, Ann Temkin, later admitted that Basquiat’s work was too advanced for her when she was offered it.” I didn’t recognise it as great, it didn’t look like anything I knew .”

Basquiat was born to a middle-class family in Brooklyn. His father was Haitian- quite a strict figure- and his mother, whose mothers were Puerto Rican, was born in Brooklyn. His parents split up when he was seven and he and his sisters lived with his father, including a move, for a while, to Puerto Rico. His mother, to whom he was close, was committed to a mental hospital when he was 11. Basquiat was rebellious, angry, and moved from school to school. His education ended in New York when, for a dare, he emptied a box of shaving cream over the principal’s head during a graduation ceremony. By 15, he was leaving home on and off. He once slept in Washington Square Park for a week.

New York City in the late 1970 s was utterly unlike it is now: un-glitzy, rough, with many builds burnt out and abandoned.” The city was disintegrating ,” tells Alexis Adler,” but it was a very free time. We were able to do whatever we wanted because nobody cared .” Rents were cheap( or people squatted) and downtown New York was a grubby, exhilarating mecca for the artistic dispossessed. The punk scene, centred on the venue CBGB, was giving way to something more experimental, involving art, film and what would become hip-hop. Everyone used to go every night, everyone was creative, everyone was going to make it big.

” We were all these young kids in New York to carry out our Warhol fiction ,” tells Michael Holman,” but instead of being a ringleader as Warhol was, we were in the band ourselves, making art ourselves, we were acting in films, attaining cinemas, “weve all” one-man indicates, with a lot of collaborations. That was the norm, to be a polymath. Whether you were a painter, an actor, a poet … you also had to be in a band, in order to truly be cool .”

Basquiat was, of course, in a band, with Holman and others including Vincent Gallo; they were called Gray. They formed in 1979, but before that, Basquiat induced his presence felt through his graffiti. Running with his school friend Al Diaz, from 1978 he was spraying the buildings of downtown NYC with their shared SAMO tag. SAMO( c ), originally a cartoon character Basquiat had depicted for local schools magazine, was derived from the phrase” same old shit “. It was meant, in part, to be a irony on corporations and the tag was straightforward , not decorative. Instead of pictures, SAMO( c) asked odd questions, or built enigmatic, poetic declarations:” SAMO( c) AS A CONGLOMERATE OF DORMANT-GENIOUS[ sic ]” or” PAY FOR SOUP, BUILD A FORT, SET THAT ON FIRE “. The SAMO( c) tag was everywhere. Before anyone knew Jean-Michel Basquiat, they knew SAMO( c ).

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz’s SAMO( c) tag. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat /( c) Henry A. Flynt Jr

Basquiat left home permanently at 16 and slept on the sofas and floors of friends’ places, including UK artist Stan Peskett’s Canal Street loft. There he made friends with graffiti artists including Fred Brathwaite( better known as Fab 5 Freddy) and Lee Quinones of graffiti group the Fabulous 5, and built postcards and collages.( Once Basquiat spotted Andy Warhol in a eatery, popped in and sold him a couple of those postcards .) Brathwaite and Holman put on a party at the loft on 29 April 1979, as a style of bringing uptown hip-hop to the downtown art mob. Before the party started, Holman recollects, this kid turned up, and said he wanted to be in the indicate. Holman didn’t know him, but” people with that kind of energy, “youve never” stand in their way, you just say, Yes, go !” They set up a large piece of photo paper and Basquiat started spraying it with a can of red paint. He wrote:” Which of the following is omniprznt[ sic ]? a) Lee Harvey Oswald b) Coca Cola logo c) General Melonry or d) SAMO .”” And we all went, Oh my God, this is SAMO !” tells Holman. Later at the party, Basquiat asked Holman, who had been in the glam-rock band the Tubes, if he too wanted to be in a band. Gray was formed there and then.

The members of Gray, which settled into the line-up of Holman, Basquiat, Wayne Clifford and Nick Taylor, purposely utilized paint or sculpture as references, as opposed to music. Their highest expression of kudo was ” ignorant”, used in the same way even worse( entailing good ). Holman remembers playing a gig with a long loop of videotape passing through a reel-to-reel machine and then around the whole band. Brathwaite was at Gray’s first gig, at the Mudd Club in New York, and said afterwards:” David Byrne[ of Talking Heads] was there. Debbie Harry. It was a real who’s who. Everyone was there because of Jean…SAMO’s in a band! They came out and played for only 10 minutes. Someone was playing in a box .”

Gray ended when Basquiat’s painting took off. He was always painting and draw, initially in the style of Peter Max( guess Yellow Submarine ), but speedily received his own esthetic, which utilized penning, and had elements of Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg. Because he had no money for canvases, he painted on the detritus he dragged in from the street- doors, briefcases, tyres- as well as the more permanent parts in his flat: the refrigerator, the Tv, the wall, the floor. About the same period that Gray began, Basquiat started dating Adler, then a budding embryologist( he stepped in to protect her when she innocently provoked a street battle ). Adler procured a flat- at 527 East 12 th Street- where she still lives today, and they both moved in. There, Basquiat painted on everything, including Adler’s clothes.( When, in 2013, Adler revealed that she had kept a lot of his work, she sold an actual wall of her flat via a Christies auction: it had a Basquiat painting of Olive Oyl on it.” They were careful about taking it out ,” she tells me.” And now we have glass bricks there instead !”)

Although she and Basquiat were sleeping together, it wasn’t a straightforward boyfriend-girlfriend thing, tells Adler.” It was before Aids, a wild period, you could have whatever relationship you wanted .” They had separate rooms, and had sexuality with other people. Adler bought a camera to take pictures of Basquiat’s art, and of him mucking about: he played with putty on his nose, was interested in cinema and Tv( his phrase” boom for real”, used when he was impressed, came from a TV programme ), and shaved the front half of his head, so he would” look as though he was coming and running at the same day “.

They went out every night to the freshly opened Mudd Club, in the Tribeca district. Friends came over until all hours( hard for Adler, who worked in a laboratory by day ). PiL’s Metal Box was on rotation, along with Bowie’s Low and records by Ornette Colman, Miles Davis. Adler loved Metal Box and nailed the cover up on the wall. When Basquiat ensure it, he was full of disdain. He took the album down and nailed up William Burroughs’s The Naked Lunch in its place.” He detected it offensive that I would set it up ,” says Adler. It wasn’t good enough to be art in his eyes.

Basquiat
Basquiat on the set of Downtown 81, spray can in hand. Photograph: Alamy

Basquiat lasted at Adler’s flat until the springtime of 1980. During that year, his work featured in a couple of group proves and he played the lead role in the film New York Beat Movie ( eventually released in 2000 as Downtown 81 ; the Barbican reveal will play it in full ). In the movie, Basquiat is the star, but it’s fun to play spot-the-famous-person: there are cameos by Debbie Harry, Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quinones; the band DNA and even Kid Creole and the Coconuts make an appearance. The plot is of the day-in-the-life form: Basquiat plays an artist who wanders the street trying to sell a paint so he can get enough fund to move back into his apartment. He sells it, but is paid by cheque, so he club-hops, trying to find a girl he can go home with. You can’t imagine the role was much of a stretch.

When he wasn’t clubbing, Basquiat worked hard- Brook Bartlett, an artist he mentored in the early 1980 s, remembers him painting endlessly- and his shifting from being penniless to rich happened between 1981 and 1982. He was by then living with Suzanne Mallouk, who had moved from Canada to become an artist. They’d gratified when she was bartending at Night Bird. Basquiat would come in, stand at the back of the room and stare at her. Initially, she thought he was a hobo- he had shaved hair at the front of his head, bleached baby dreadeds at the back, and wore a coat five sizings too big.” He wouldn’t come to the bar because he had no money for drinks ,” she recalls.” But then, after two weeks, he came in, set a load of change down and bought the most expensive drink in the place: Remy Martin.$ 7 !”. Mallouk was intrigued. They were the same age and had a lot in common. Basquiat moved into her tiny walk-up flat.

Within eight months, there was money everywhere. Mallouk:” I watched him sell his first painting to Deborah Harry for $200, and then a few months later he was selling paints for $20,000 each, selling them faster than he could paint them. I watched him induce his first million. We ran from stealing bread on the way home from the Mudd Club and feeing pasta to buying groceries at Dean& DeLuca; the fridge was full of tarts and caviar, “were in” drinking Cristal champagne. We were 21 years old .” Basquiat would leave piles of money around the apartment, buy Armani suits by the dozen, throw parties with” mounds of cocaine “. His rise coincided with a shift in the city: financiers were looking to invest in art, and the latter are cruising around art demonstrates, snapping up new work.

The first public prove of Basquiat’s paints was in 1981: New York/ New Wave, at PS1 in Long Island, brought together by Mudd Club co-founder and curator Diego Cortez. It was a group show that included pieces by William Burroughs, David Byrne, Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpeand Andy Warhol, but Basquiat was given a whole wall, which he filled with 20 paints.( The Barbican show recreates this, with 16 of the original 20 on display .) His work caused a sensation.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, 1983. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican

Basquiat gained a dealer: Annina Nosei. She devoted him the basement under her gallery to work in( Fred Brathwaite didn’t approve:” A black child, painting in the basement, it’s not good, man”, he told afterward ), which was where Herb and Lenore Schorr, benign and interested art collectors, met him. The Schorrs expended some time in the gallery choosing a piece of work, without knowing that Basquiat was running beneath them. Once they’d decided, he came up, and, though other collectors saw Basquiat threatening or obtuse, they liked him immediately. He didn’t explain his work-” he always told:” If you can’t figure it out, it’s your problem ,” says Lenore; to Bartlett, he told:” I paint ghosts”- but he pointed out parts that he thought he’d done particularly well, such as a snake.

Things were on the up. In early 1982, Nosei arranged for Basquiat and Mallouk to move from their small flat to the much fancier 151 Crosby Street in Soho, and she hosted his first ever solo present at her gallery: a huge success. Through another trader, Bruno Bischofberger( his most consistent representative ), Basquiat was formally introduced to Andy Warhol; afterwards, Basquiat immediately made a painting of the two of them, and had it delivered to Warhol, still wet, two hours after they’d parted. They formed the beginning of a friendship. Basquiat was then asked to do a show in LA, at the Gagosian gallery.

Film-maker Tamra Davis, who made the Basquiat documentary Radiant Child ( 2009 ), satisfied him in Los Angeles. She was an assistant at another gallery and a friend brought Basquiat over.” Jean-Michel came and he didn’t have a car and he didn’t know where to go and we proved him around ,” she says.” That was our assignment. It was the funnest thing ever. I was going to movie school, and he really loved movies, so we would go to the movies together, talk about them. He was the new thing in town, everyone wanted to get to know him. He was so charming, but it was also like hanging out with the Tasmanian devil. Everywhere he went, chaos would occur. You didn’t know what was going to happen next. It was invigorating, but it was also actually tiring .”

Basquiat, though, was never tired. He had unending energy, partly drug-fuelled: he needed it in LA, as he brought no paints with him. He rarely did, for his reveals: instead he’d arrive early at whichever city the depict was in and construct the paints there.” He could induce 20 paintings in three weeks ,” says Davis. In 1986, she filmed him working: he would have source books open, the TV on, music playing and worked on several canvases at once. For this first LA show, he made works including Untitled( Yellow Tar and Feathers ) and Untitled( LA Painting ), the picture that only cost Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa $ 110.5 m( in 1984, it went for $19,000 ). Every single one sold.

Once back in New York, Basquiat left Nosei and joined another trader, Mary Boone. His reputation was rocketing. The opening for his solo indicate at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery was packed with celebrities, recall the Schorrs, who consider that particular present to be his finest, and all the run sold on the first night.

Reviews, however, were scarce. Basquiat’s push-me-pull-you relationship with the art establishment was becoming evident: the merchant he wanted, Leo Castelli, repudiated him as too troublesome; there was racism against him for his youth, for having first run as a graffiti artist, for being untrained, and for being black. His run was represented as instinctive, as opposed to intellectual, though he was well versed in art history; some held the patronising notion that he didn’t know what he was doing.

Basquiat’s
Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans, 1983. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican
Racism also had an everyday impact: he would leave successful opening parties and find it impossible to get a taxi. Herb Schorr would give him lifts to stimulate their own lives easier( they would gag that he should wear a peaked cap and be Basquiat’s driver ). George Condo, an artist on the rise at the same time, remembers going to a restaurant with him in LA and not being allowed in.” I said:’ Do you know who this is? This is Jean-Michel Basquiat, the most important painter of our time .’ The guy said,’ He’s not coming in. We don’t allow his kind in here .'” Brook Bartlett remembers a trip-up to Europe in 1982 during which a rich Zurich socialite intimated that she, an 18 -year-old white female, would be a civilising influence on Basquiat, who was four years older and already established. No wonder race became more prominent in his work: in his second LA Gagosian show, in 1983, Basquiat depicted paints such as Untitled( Sugar Ray Robinson ), Hollywood Africans , Horn Players and Eyes and Eggs , featuring black musicians, actors and sportsmen.

Drugs, too, were around more and more.” Everyone in the East Village and in the arts world in the 80 s did narcotics. Wall street did narcotics, everyone did narcotics ,” tells Mallouk. But after Mallouk and Basquiat split up in 1983, Basquiat get increasingly into heroin.” He was sniffing it, smoking it and injecting it ,” tells Mallouk.” There were some models that he was hanging out with that were doing it and that’s how he got into it .” He became unreliable, travelling to Japan on a whim, instead of going to Italy, where he had a reveal. But then, his focus was constantly diverted. Everyone wanted him. He was moving into a different world: his old friends still saw him, but intermittently.

During 1984 and 1985, Basquiat’s star shot higher and higher. There was a lot of travel, a lot of attention. He was featured on the front cover of the New York Times Magazine in a suit with his feet bare. The Warhol estate rented him an even bigger place, a loft on Great Jones Street large enough for him to use as a studio as well as a flat, and in 1985 Basquiat and Warhol had a show of paintings that they’d made jointly. Though the poster for the demonstrate has subsequently been constantly reworked and sampled( even Iggy Azalea use it on the coverof her 2011 mixtape Ignorant ), at the time, the depict was not a success. One critic called Basquiat Warhol’s ” mascot “. Tamra Davis says this was hard for Basquiat.

” He truly thought he was finally going to be appreciated ,” she says.” And instead they tore the indicate apart and said these horrible things about him and Andy and their relationship. He get so sad, and from then on it was hard to see a comeback. Anybody that you talked to that considered him around that time, he got more and more paranoid, his dread ran deeper and deeper .”

With
With Andy Warhol at their joint show in 1985, which was savaged by the critics. Photo: Richard Drew/ AP

And gradually, gradually his heroin use was catching up with him. Alhough he was greatly inspired by a journey to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and though he had shows all over the world- Tokyo, New York, Atlanta, Hanover, Paris- it became known among his friends that he was struggling. Mallouk would go over to his Great Jones loft.” I would beg him to get help and he only couldn’t do it ,” she tells.” He hurled the TV at me. People would stop me on the street, saying Jean-Michel is in a really bad way, he has spots all over his face, he looks really out of it, you need to go and assist him … It was pretty common knowledge that he was not well .”

In February 1987, Andy Warhol succumbed at persons under the age of 58. Basquiat became increasingly reclusive, though he still generated work for shows, and made schemes, in early 1988, to revisit Ivory Coast to go to a Senufo village. He began to talk about doing something other than art: penning perhaps, or music, or setting up a tequila business in Hawaii. In 1988, he went to Hawaii to get clean: Davis watched him in LA afterwards.” He was sobers, he was gonna do better, it was like LA had a bit of Shangri-La about it for him .” But his visit was strange: he brought random people to dinner, people he’d simply met at the airport, and he was unnaturally upbeat, too happy. It induced her afraid.

In 2014, Anthony Haden-Guest wrote an article for Vanity Fair that describes in detail Basquiat’s last night: 12 August 1988. In New York, he did narcotics during the day, and was dragged out to a Bryan Ferry aftershow party at bank-turned-club MK by his girlfriend, Kelly Inman, and another friend. He left rapidly, with his pal Kevin Bray. They went back to the Great Jones loft, but Basquiat was nodding. Bray wrote him a note.” I DON’T WANT TO SIT HERE AND WATCH YOU DIE ,” it told. Bray read it out to Basquiat, and left.

The next day, Inman went to the apartment at 5.30 pm. Jean-Michel Basquiat was dead.

It was a sad objective to a rocket-flight life. And the subsequent battle between Basquiat’s estate and various merchants over pieces of his work was not fairly. Collectors sued for paints bought but never received. Dealers claimed they owned works; the estate said they’d stolen them. There were too many Basquiat pieces knocking around on the market( 500 -6 00 canvasses, according to one expert ): the estate would only corroborate the provenance of a few. Then the taxman arrived knocking: Basquiat hadn’t paid taxes for three years before his death.

But the years have softened or resolved the debates, and the work has had a life of its own. Though the majority of members of his most important art is owned by collectors, who keep it hidden away, it maintains seeping out, as if drawn to its public. And we want his run, it seems. Not merely are organizations finally coming around to his genius, but his run can be seen on T-shirts, on sneakers( Reebok did a Basquiat scope ), on the arms of hip-hop artists. Just samples, short clips taken out of context, snippets and clues of the full, mind-whirling Basquiat experience.” He topics things and he references things he wants you to pay attention to ,” says Davis.” His paintings were meant to be seen by as many people as possible. They’re like movies or music , not just for person or persons alone .”

His art is irrevocably intertwined with their own lives: his charisma and drive, his race, his talent and sad demise. But it is bigger than that. Like the best art, it needs the world and the world needs it. And if you stand in front of a Basquiat and appear, it sings its own song, only to you.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is at the Barbican, London EC2, from 21 September until 28 January 2018

Basquiat, as remembered by his friends

Basquiat
Basquiat with then girlfriend Suzanne Mallouk. Photograph: Duncan Fraser Buchanan

Michael Holman, musician and film-maker
Basquiat was born fully realised. And if anything, that is the kiss of death: you’re gonna burn brightly and burn fast. If you impressed him, if he complimented you, you just felt you’d been blessed by a saint, it was a very emotionally and spiritually profound experience. That’s one of the ways to calibrate his otherworldliness. Because he would never compliment you if he didn’t believe it to his core.

We all used to go[ almost] every night, till 4 in the morning. It was so important. Not merely did we go out and blow off steam, and satisfy people, have sex in the bathroom, get high, all that stuff that you do in clubs. But within the clubs the scene also creatively happened … all kinds of pass, performances, art presents … Club 57 and Mudd Club, they fed us and they directed us and guided us, brought us along with crucial people, in a way that going to openings or concerts just didn’t do. It made a community that supported one another. It was a special hour. With[ our band] Gray, I videotapeed a microphone to the head of a snare drum, face down, and attached masking tape to the drum, then pulled the masking tape off and allowed that to be a voice. Jean would loosen the strings on an electric guitar, then run a metal file across the strings.

In 1982, two years after Jean left Gray, I’d become an avant garde film-maker. I had this cable TV reveal, and I asked him to do an interview. He made it clear to me, without saying anything, that I wouldn’t be able to do this interview if I didn’t get high with him. He was doing base, like a high-end kind of cracking. I’d never done it before and, boy, I’ve never done it since. I could barely maintain my focus. I could scarcely stop shake, but it scarcely affected him. He had such a high tolerance.

He was a sensationalist. He pushed the boundaries of any kind of sensation, anything that would set off his endorphins, his nerve ending, his brain cells. He was after the sensation of something special and brilliant and different and electric and massive. Would he have been good at middle age? Well, part of middle age is the struggle of coming to this place in which you know you’ve plateaued in some way. When we pass that hump and start going down the other way, we are living and succumbing at the same day. I don’t think he wanted to go there.

Lenore and Herb Schorr, major New York collectors, and the first to recognise and subsistence Basquiat
Lenore : We were very excited by the first painting we ensure by him. This is not a common reaction, we’ve found, even now! He’s a very difficult artist for many, many people. But we just felt he was a wonderful, brilliant artist, very, very early.

Herb : The artists understood him- some of them. They were there first, along with a few professionals. Basically, he had his collector base, but they weren’t knocking down the doors for them as they are today. There was not this hysteria. Really , nothing changes. We’re just finishing reading a volume called The Portrait of Dr Gachet by Cynthia Saltzman, which is about a Van Gogh painting, and a lot of it is the same story as Basquiat. It takes 20 years after his death before a Van Gogh enters a museum. Anything which violates new ground takes a while for people to catch up to.

Lenore : Jean was very smart and he knew his art history. Modernism, Picasso, right up to the present and Jean knew it all. So we really had a nice rapport. I could see it in his work, Picasso, Rauschenberg, they were all important influences, he had absorbed the performance of their duties. It was beautifully rendered, remade in his speech, with his message, with New York at the time, his personal feelings.

Herb : We didn’t see him in a drugged state, well maybe once, he seemed a little angry, he wasn’t the same person. He would call and perhaps he required more money. Once, he called us up early in the morning and we lived in the suburb, you know, and he told,” I need fund, I have a painting for you .” But he didn’t turn out by the end of the working day …

Lenore : It’s so sad, he tried to get down it. Andy Warhol tried hard with him, they would exercise together.

Herb : We have good memories of him. One period he said he wanted to come up and have a white man’s barbecue.

Lenore : We expected him around three and he shows up at eight, with friends. It was quite a party, there was skinny-dipping- not me!- I had the kids here and there was a little pot being smoked, I could smell it, and we were like, We’re gonna be busted! It was a great, fun evening.

Suzanne Mallouk, partner, 1981 -1 983, and lifelong friend
We instantly had this feeling of kindred spirits. We were the same age, I left home at 15, so did he. We were both first generation from immigrant families- my father was Palestinian, his father was Haitian. Both of us didn’t fit into any racial or the various ethnic groups. Both of us suffered racism. We both had old-world fathers who use corporal punishment. My mother is English, from Bolton. His stepmother was English. It was very interesting, the common histories we had. Authoritarian fathers that find European women as a prize. And I think it actually shaped Jean-Michel’s experience. He was intelligent enough to resent that European girls were somehow valued more, he saw the racism in that, yet most of his girlfriends were white. He was conflicted about it; he discussed it with me.

I hated that I had a job and he didn’t. I was an artist, too- how dare he build me run as a waitress and live off me! Often I would come home and he would take fund out of my handbag to buy drugs. We would have terrible battles. He would say,” I promise I’ll look after you when I’m famous, please just let me do my art, I’m going to be famous very soon .” But I didn’t keep anything, so I didn’t get anything. He didn’t like me maintaining things, he would virtually be jealous of his own artwork. He would say,” Why do you want to keep something of mine when you have me ?” Eventually, he gave me the message that really I could no longer be an artist. He was the only artist in the family and I had to look after him. It was kind of misogynist.

It wasn’t that he only considered Andy[ Warhol] as a father figure, he also actually had a flirting with him. Often when I was with the two of them together, it didn’t feel like I was there with Jean; it felt like I was there with two homosexual lovers. He once joked with me that he had had sex with Andy, but I don’t know if it was a joke. Jean had a history of being bisexual, but Warhol was asexual, so I don’t know. People misunderstand the relationship if they just think Andy was helping Jean. Jean was already he was highly established, he was already famous or Andy would not have been interested in him. I think Andy needed new life breathed into his career; I suppose the two of them required each other.

Two weeks before his death, I was living with a new boyfriend in my little East Village hovel. Jean rang the buzzer in the middle of the night and we both get up, and said ” Who is it ?”” Jean-Michel, Jean-Michel, is Suzanne there ?” I buzzed him in but he never came up. I operated down the stairs to look for him, but he’d gone, and two week ago he was dead. My heart was break when I operated down the stairs and he was gone. Because I never stopped loving him. I still feel love for him and he’s been dead for over 30 years.

You’re going to think I’m mad, but I have dreamings, and in the dreamings Jean-Michel is ageing. It’s as though he’s living in a parallel cosmo. And often he’s annoyed that I’m there, he’s like,” Don’t tell anyone I’m here Suzanne. Don’t tell anyone I faked my demise, and especially don’t tell the New York Times !” He’s just living a really simple life,

Read more: www.theguardian.com

From winemakers to neurosurgeons, these 15 former NFL players got a second chance and a new career.

NFL players have it made, right?

You know, playing a game for millions of dollars, where you get to be financially stable for life?

Well, maybe not.

The median NFL career lasts three and half years. And what arrives after isn’t always easy.

And this is one of GOOD gigs. Michael Strahan doing the left shark with Kelly Ripa for an episode of “Live with Kelly and Michael.” Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/ Getty Images.

Nearly 16 % of former NFL players declare insolvency within 12 years of leaving the league. The truth is, pro football retirement can be a tough road; for some, it’s even tougher than taking a hard hit when you’re not expecting it.

Some former players have found a second wind after pro-football although they’re not all doing what you might expect. After all, there are only so many ESPN broadcasting or NFL head coaching jobs out there.

Here are 15 former NFL players with surprising new careers :

1. Kareem McKenzie, psychologist

I’d sit down and share. Photo by NFL/ Getty Images.

That’s right, the former 11 -season Jets and Giant outside tackle would rather talk it out than take you out these days. He’s currently examining at William Paterson University in New Jersey, all in the name of helping other former football players and armed servicemen make healthy transitions in “peoples lives”.

2. Myron Rolle, neurosurgeon

From brining the pain to alleviating it. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/ Getty Images.

Rolle merely had a short stint with the Titans in 2012 but still attained history, represent one of only three people to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and also play for an NFL team. He’s currently analyse at the Florida State University College of Medicine and also has find the time to establish the Myron L. Rolle Foundation, looking to help the underserved in health, wellness, and education.

3. Bill Goldberg, WWE wrestler and actor

Goldberg took a jackhammer to post-NFL challenges. Here in 2005 with his wife, Wanda. Photo by Kevin Winter/ Getty Images.

Any list of retired NFL players would be incomplete without Goldberg. He has called his football days a “dream come true” despite being plagued by trauma from 1990 to 1995. He wasn’t a huge fan of wrestling at first, but after Sting and Lex Luther urged him into the ring, he never turned back.

4. Bradley James Pyatt, CEO of MusclePharm

Pyatt stretching before a game waaaaay back in 2004. Photo by Robert Laberge/ Getty Images.

Yes, we’ve moved from professional wrestler to professional tycoon. Pyatt received his new career after his use of athletics supplements as a Colts broad receiver left his bones weak. The idea for MusclePharm was bear, and now Pyatt has a whole new way to induce millions.

5. Wayne Chrebet, deputy vice president at Barclays

He played for the Airplanes, but we won’t hold that against him. Photo by Simon Bruty/ Allsport/ Getty Images.

You’ve probably heard of Barclays, the giant financial institution headquartered across the seas. Chrebet made his route to Barclays via Morgan Stanley after his 11 years with the Jets as a wide receiver. These days he manages the boulder on behalf of hundreds of clients, whose combined assets total around $1.5 billion.

6. Tony McGee, CEO of HNM Global Logistics

From haul in pass to carrying cargo. Photo by Ronald Martinez/ Getty Images.

This former tight objective for the Bengals, Giants, and Cowboys took his never-give-up stance into his post-NFL career. He started with a real estate company, which he was happy with until the 2008 recession hitting. After the crash, he ran a successful roofing company until he overheard person telling him just how much contracts in the shipping industry go for. Now he owns his own cargo company, which earned more than$ 1 million in its first year.

7. Dan Marino and Damon Huard, founders of Passing Time

Grape Expectations. Photo via Passing Time, used in conjunction with permission.

If “were in” handing out awardings, Marino and Huard would no doubt get the Elegance Award. These two former Dolphin QBs( Huard was actually the backup QB to Marino) decided to open their own winery outside Seattle in 2010. Though the winery is neither Marino’s nor Huard’s main source of income, they’re looking to get closer to profitability by 2017.

8. Eddie George, Broadway actor

“It’s all show business.” Photo by Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images.

Performing under bright sunlights should be no big thing for George after playing running back for the Oilers, Titans, and Cowboys for nine seasons. His role as Billy Flynn in Chicago” in January is just a new chance for him to shine.

9. Erv Randle, Chevrolet dealership owner

Photo via Erv Randle, used with permission.

The former middle linebacker for the Buccaneers and the Chiefs is no longer looking to stop drives, he’s trying to start them. Randle purchased a Chevy dealership in southern Oklahoma in the hopes of having a “long-term” relationship with the community and attained the official proclamation in October, according to the Lawton Constitution.

10. Dorsey Levens, cinema, Tv, and stage actor

Looking like a celeb as far back as 2007. Photo by Steve Grayson/ NFL for Weber Shandwick( St. Louis )/ Getty Images.

Levens took acting lessons while he played for the Green Bay Packers as a running back. He is known for his role in “We Are Marshall” and now as a leading role in “Madea on the Run, ” created by Tyler Perry. He also detects time to run a youth sports training and mentoring program called I Am Momentum, headquartered in Atlanta.

11. Keith Fitzhugh and Haskel Stanback, Norfolk Southern Railway

All aboard the “follow your dreams” train with Keith Fitzhugh. Photo by NFL Photos.

Fitzhugh made headlines back in 2010 when sports analysts thought he went off the rails and declined an offer from the New York Jets, instead choosing to work at Norfolk Southern Railway as a develop conductor. Fitzhugh, currently a terminal superintendent, and Stanback, a running back for the Falcons in the 1970 s, have had long and successful careers with one of the nation’s oldest transportation companies.

12. Ed Newman and Tony Nathan, magistrate and bailiff

Tony Nathan running in a little ol’ thing “ve called the” Super Bowl, back in 1985. Photo by George Rose/ Getty Images.

Our next ex-NFL duo are former Dolphins teammates who lives in sunny Florida, holding tribunal and hearing the cases of drunk drivers, robbers, and drug offenders, according to The Miami Herald. Newman, a former guard, offered Nathan, a former running back, a job as a bailiff after Nathan ran coaching stints at professional, collegiate, and high school level. Nathan accepted, and they’ve been maintaining order in the court ever since, The Miami Herald reports.

13. Ricardo Silva, high school geometry teacher

It’s all about the slants. Photo by Dave Reginek/ Getty Images.

Another surprising career option is that of Ricardo Silva, who played security for the Lions and the Panthers from 2011 to 2013. Last year, he decided to join the ranks of Teach for America as a geometry educator in a Washington high school. He lately told CNN that teaching is harder than football ever was.

14. Michael Strahan, TV host

Getting your morning started since 2010. Photo by Jamie McCarthy/ Getty Images for Baby Buggy.

If you haven’t heard of any of the players on this list yet, your waiting is over. Strahan’s reasons for being successful post-NFL is better suggested by Strahan himself: When you’re a 20 -something-year-old athlete and you’re get a six-figure check every week, you’re not thinking about next week. You’re not guessing, ‘I’m going to be violated, ‘ or ‘I’m going to need another job.’ But I’ll tell you, there are a lot of breach athletes out there I know plenty and I didn’t want to end up as one, ” Strahan told The New York Times.

15. Hines Ward, restaurant owned( among other things)

Trading the Steel Curtain for napkins. Photo by Joe Sargent/ Getty Images.

In August, the former Steeler, Super Bowl MVP, and current NBC analyst opened a restaurant in Pittsburgh, called Table 86. Ward said he built the restaurant to create jobs and say thank you to the people of Pittsburgh, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

These are inspiring narratives. But not every player knows how to handle life after football.

Luckily, there are resources out there. One of those is NFL Player Engagement, an NFL department focused on the wellness of former and active players, which helps players plan for a stable ideally prosperous second career. This NFL department offers trade courses to help players become electricians, plumbers, or carpenters, and operates a program called Bridge to Success, which offers peer-to-peer mentorship in the transition out of the NFL.

Charles Way, a vice president at the organization and a former New York Giant Full Back, tells it all starts at the beginning. We want players to start preparing for retirement as soon as they walk through the doors as a rookie, ” he says.

In a world where watching heroes crash and burn is as seducing as the latest superhero blockbuster, it’s freshening to ensure people who meet the challenge and rise above it.

Read more: www.upworthy.com

The Jean-Michel Basquiat I knew …

The graffiti artist turned painter became the superstar of the 1980 s New York art scene. Since his death aged 27, his reputation has risen. On the eve of a major UK show, we speak to his friends

It’s always tempting to mythologise the dead, especially those who die young and beautiful. And if the dead person is also astonishingly gifted, then the myth becomes inevitable. Jean-Michel Basquiat was just 27 when he died, in 1988, a strikingly gorgeous young man whose stunning, genre-wrecking work had already brought him to international attention; who had in the space of only a few years morphed from an underground graffiti artist into a painter who commanded hundreds of thousands of dollars for his canvases.

So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that all individuals I talk to who knew Basquiat when he was alive, from girlfriends to collectors, musicians to painters, speaks about him as special. Still, it’s noticeable that they all do. Basquiat- even before he was acknowledged as an artist- was insured by his friends as exceptional.

” I knew when I fulfilled him that he was beyond the normal ,” tells musician and film-maker Michael Holman, who founded the noise band Gray with Basquiat.” Jean-Michel had his defects, he was mischievous, he had certain things about him that could be called amoral, but defining that aside, he had something that I’m sure he had from the moment he was born. It was like he was born fully realised, a realised being .”

” He was a beautiful person and an amazing artist ,” says Alexis Adler, a former girlfriend.” I recognised that from the get-go. I knew he was brilliant. The only person around that time I felt the same thing about was Madonna. I totally, 100% knew they were going to be big .”

Basquiat the man and Basquiat the painter is very difficult to untangle. He lived hard and succumbed harder( from an unintentional heroin overdose ), and had more of the rock-star persona than the art aesthete about him, a cool celebrity sparkle that didn’t always work in his favour. Some art connoisseurs find his work hard to take seriously; others, though, have an immediate, nearly visceral answer. To me, a non-art critic, his work is fantastic: it feels contemporary, with a chaotic, musical sensibility. It’s beautiful and hectic, young and old, graphic, apprehending, packed with equivocal codes; there’s a questioning of identity, especially race, and a sampling of life’s stimulus that takes in music, cartoons, commerce and institutions, as well as celebrities and art greats.( Not sex, though: though he had lots of partners, his paints are rarely erotic .). You could stand in front of a Basquiat painting and be fascinated for hours.

Since he died, Basquiat has had a mixed reputation. There was a time in the 1990 s when he was dismissed as a lightweight. Museums repudiated him as a jumped-up wall-sprayer. But over the past few years, his superstar has been on the rise and even those who are snooty about his art can’t argue with his cultural influence. A few years ago a Christie’s spokesperson described him, pointedly, as” the most collected artist of sportsmen, performers, musicians and entrepreneurs “. As one of the few black American painters to break through into international consciousness, he is referenced a lot in hip-hop: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Nas and others cite Basquiat in their lyrics; Jay-Z, in Most Kingz, uses the” most kings get their head cut off” phrase from Basquiat’s painting Charles the First . Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz own his runs, as do Johnny Depp, John McEnroe and Leonardo DiCaprio. Debbie Harry was the first person ever to pay for a Basquiat piece; Madonna owns his art and they dated for a couple of months in the mid-8 0s.

Jean-Michel
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting Untitled( LA Painting) selling off $110.5 million( PS85m) at Sotheby’s in New York, to become the sixth most expensive run ever sold at auction. Photograph: Shutterstock

A household name in the US, Basquiat is less well known in the UK, though the sale, in May, of one of his paintings ( Untitled( LA Painting ), 1982) for $110.5 m( PS85m ), the highest amount ever for an American artist at auction, made headlines. Now, Boom for Real, a vast exhibition at the Barbican- the first Basquiat show in the UK for more than 20 years- aims to open our eyes. Researched and curated for four years, it follows his career from street to gallery, recognise the exceptional hours he was working in, and expands its references from straightforwardly visual art to music, literature, Tv and movies, all areas in which Basquiat experimented. It tries to see things from Basquiat’s point of view.

Eleanor Nairne, co-curator of the prove, explains why there hasn’t been a full retrospective up to now. Although Basquiat was immensely prolific during his short life, institutions were slow to recognise his talent.” The hour between his first solo present and his death was six years ,” she tells.” Institutions do not move that quickly. During his lifetime he only had two indicates in a public space[ as opposed to a commercial gallery ]. There’s not a single work in a public collection in the UK .” There are not many in the US, either: the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York has a couple, but when the city’s Museum of Modern Art( MoMA) was offered his work when he was alive, it said no, and it still doesn’t own any of his paints( it has some on loan ). The head curator, Ann Temkin, subsequently admitted that Basquiat’s work was too advanced for her when she was offered it.” I didn’t recognise it as great, it didn’t look like anything I knew .”

Basquiat was born to a middle-class household in Brooklyn. His father was Haitian- quite a strict figure- and his mother, whose mothers were Puerto Rican, was bear in Brooklyn. His mothers split up when he was seven and he and his sisters lived with his father, including a move, for a while, to Puerto Rico. His mom, to whom he was close, was committed to a mental hospital when he was 11. Basquiat was rebellious, angry, and moved from school to school. His education ended in New York when, for a dare, he emptied a box of shaving cream over the principal’s head during a graduation ceremony. By 15, he was leaving home on and off. He once slept in Washington Square Park for a week.

New York City in the late 1970 s was utterly unlike it is now: un-glitzy, rough, with many buildings burnt out and abandoned.” The city was disintegrating ,” tells Alexis Adler,” but it was a very free time. We were able to do whatever we wanted because nobody cared .” Rents were inexpensive( or people squatted) and downtown New York was a grubby, exhilarating mecca for the artistic dispossessed. The punk scene, centred on the venue CBGB, was giving way to something more experimental, involving art, movie and what would become hip-hop. Everyone used to go every night, everyone was creative, everyone was going to make it big.

” We were all these young kids in New York to carry out our Warhol fiction ,” tells Michael Holman,” but instead of being a ringleader as Warhol was, we were in the band ourselves, making art ourselves, we were are active in films, inducing films, “weve all” one-man indicates, with a lot of collaborations. That was the norm, to be a polymath. Whether you were a painter, relevant actors, a poet … you also had to be in a band, in order to really be cool .”

Basquiat was, of course, in a band, with Holman and others including Vincent Gallo; the latter are called Gray. They formed in 1979, but before that, Basquiat induced his presence felt through his graffiti. Working with his school friend Al Diaz, from 1978 he was spraying the buildings of downtown NYC with their shared SAMO tag. SAMO( c ), originally a cartoon character Basquiat had drawn for local schools publication, was derived from the phrase” same old shit “. It was meant, in part, to be a irony on corporations and the tag was straightforward , not decorative. Instead of pictures, SAMO( c) asked odd questions, or stimulated enigmatic, poetic declarations:” SAMO( c) AS A CONGLOMERATE OF DORMANT-GENIOUS[ sic ]” or” PAY FOR SOUP, BUILD A FORT, SET THAT ON FIRE “. The SAMO( c) tag was everywhere. Before anyone knew Jean-Michel Basquiat, they knew SAMO( c ).

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz’s SAMO( c) tag. Photograph: Jean-Michel Basquiat /( c) Henry A. Flynt Jr

Basquiat left home permanently at 16 and slept on the sofas and floors of friends’ places, including UK artist Stan Peskett’s Canal Street loft. There he made friends with graffiti artists including Fred Brathwaite( better known as Fab 5 Freddy) and Lee Quinones of graffiti group the Fabulous 5, and attained postcards and collages.( Once Basquiat spotted Andy Warhol in a eatery, popped in and sold him a couple of those postcards .) Brathwaite and Holman put on a party at the loft on 29 April 1979, as a route of bringing uptown hip-hop to the downtown art mob. Before the party started, Holman recollects, this kid turned up, and said he wanted to be in the depict. Holman didn’t know him, but” people with that kind of energy, “youve never” stand in their route, you just say, Yes, run !” They set up a large piece of photo newspaper and Basquiat started spraying it with a can of red paint. He wrote:” Which of the following is omniprznt[ sic ]? a) Lee Harvey Oswald b) Coca Cola logo c) General Melonry or d) SAMO .”” And we all ran, Oh my God, this is SAMO !” tells Holman. Later at the party, Basquiat asked Holman, who had been in the glam-rock band the Tubes, if he too wanted to be in a band. Gray was formed there and then.

The members of Gray, which settled into the line-up of Holman, Basquiat, Wayne Clifford and Nick Taylor, deliberately used painting or sculpture as references, as opposed to music. Their highest expression of praise was ” ignorant”, being implemented in the same route even worse( meaning good ). Holman remembers playing a gig with a long loop-the-loop of videotape passing through a reel-to-reel machine and then around the whole band. Brathwaite was at Gray’s first gig, at the Mudd Club in New York, and told subsequently:” David Byrne[ of Talking Heads] was there. Debbie Harry. It was a real who’s who. Everyone was there because of Jean…SAMO’s in a band! They came out and played for simply 10 minutes. Somebody was playing in a box .”

Gray aimed when Basquiat’s painting took off. He was always painting and draw, initially in the style of Peter Max( suppose Yellow Submarine ), but quickly found his own esthetic, which used write, and had elements of Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg. Because he had no fund for canvases, he painted on the detritus he dragged in from the street- doors, briefcases, tyres- as well as the more permanent elements in his flat: the refrigerator, the Tv, the wall, the floor. About the same day that Gray began, Basquiat started dating Adler, then a budding embryologist( he stepped in to protect her when she innocently elicited a street fighting ). Adler found a flat- at 527 East 12 th Street- where she still lives today, and they both moved in. There, Basquiat painted on everything, including Adler’s clothes.( When, in 2013, Adler revealed that she had maintained a lot of his work, she sold an actual wall of her flat via a Christies auction: it had a Basquiat painting of Olive Oyl on it.” They were careful about taking it out ,” she tells me.” And now we have glass bricks there instead !”)

Although she and Basquiat were sleeping together, it wasn’t a straightforward boyfriend-girlfriend thing, tells Adler.” It was before Aids, a wild day, you could have whatever relationship you wanted .” They had separate rooms, and had sexuality with other people. Adler bought a camera to take pictures of Basquiat’s art, and of him mucking about: he played with putty on his nose, was interested in film and Tv( his phrase” boom for real”, use when he was impressed, came from a TV program ), and shaved the front half of his head, so he would” look as though he was coming and going at the same time “.

They went out every night to the newly opened Mudd Club, in the Tribeca district. Friend came over until all hours( hard for Adler, who worked in a laboratory by day ). PiL’s Metal Box was on rotation, along with Bowie’s Low and records by Ornette Colman, Miles Davis. Adler loved Metal Box and nailed the cover up on the wall. When Basquiat watched it, he was full of disdain. He took the album down and nailed up William Burroughs’s The Naked Lunch in its place.” He detected it offensive that I would put it up ,” tells Adler. It wasn’t good enough to be art in his eyes.

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Basquiat on the define of Downtown 81, spray can in hand. Photograph: Alamy

Basquiat lasted at Adler’s flat until the spring of 1980. During that year, his work featured in a couple of group indicates and he played the lead role in the film New York Beat Movie ( eventually released in 2000 as Downtown 81 ; the Barbican show will play it in full ). In the movie, Basquiat is the star, but it’s fun to play spot-the-famous-person: there are cameos by Debbie Harry, Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quinones; the band Dna and even Kid Creole and the Coconuts make an appearance. The plot is of the day-in-the-life type: Basquiat plays an artist who strays the street trying to sell a painting so he can get enough fund to move back into his apartment. He sells it, but is paid by cheque, so he club-hops, trying to find a girl he can go home with. You can’t imagine the role was much of a stretch.

When he wasn’t clubbing, Basquiat worked hard- Brook Bartlett, an artist he mentored in the early 1980 s, remembers him painting continuously- and his shifting from being penniless to rich happened between 1981 and 1982. He was by then living with Suzanne Mallouk, who had moved from Canada to become an artist. They’d gratified when she was bartending at Night Bird. Basquiat would come in, stand at the back of the room and stare at her. Initially, she thought he was a hobo- “hes having” shaved hair at the front of his head, bleached baby dreads at the back, and wore a coat five sizings too big.” He wouldn’t come to the bar because he had no money for drinkings ,” she recollects.” But then, after 2 week, he came in, put a load of change down and bought the most expensive drink in the place: Remy Martin.$ 7 !”. Mallouk was intrigued. They were the same age and had a lot in common. Basquiat moved into her tiny walk-up flat.

Within eight months, there was money everywhere. Mallouk:” I watched him sell his first painting to Deborah Harry for $200, and then a few months later he was selling paints for $20,000 each, selling them faster than he could paint them. I watched him induce his first million. We ran from stealing bread on the way home from the Mudd Club and eating pasta to buying groceries at Dean& DeLuca; the fridge was full of tarts and caviar, we were drinking Cristal champagne. We were 21 years old .” Basquiat would leave pilings of cash around the apartment, buy Armani suits by the dozen, throw parties with” mounds of cocaine “. His rise coincided with a shift in the city: financiers were looking to invest in art, and they were cruising around art demonstrates, snapping up new work.

The first public illustrate of Basquiat’s paints was in 1981: New York/ New Wave, at PS1 in Long Island, brought together by Mudd Club co-founder and curator Diego Cortez. It was a group show that included pieces by William Burroughs, David Byrne, Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpeand Andy Warhol, but Basquiat was given a whole wall, which he filled with 20 paints.( The Barbican show recreates this, with 16 of the original 20 on display .) His work caused a sensation.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, 1983. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican

Basquiat gained a trader: Annina Nosei. She gave him the cellar under her gallery to work in( Fred Brathwaite didn’t approve:” A black child, painting in the basement, it’s not good, man”, he said afterward ), which was where Herb and Lenore Schorr, benign and interested art collectors, satisfied him. The Schorrs expended some time in the gallery choosing a piece of work, without knowing that Basquiat was running beneath them. Once they’d chose, he came up, and, though other collectors determined Basquiat threatening or obtuse, they liked him immediately. He didn’t explain his run-” he always said:” If you can’t figure it out, it’s your problem ,” tells Lenore; to Bartlett, he said:” I paint ghosts”- but he pointed out components that he thought he’d done particularly well, such as a snake.

Things were on the up. In early 1982, Nosei arranged for Basquiat and Mallouk to move from their small flat to the much fancier 151 Crosby Street in Soho, and she hosted his first ever solo show at her gallery: a huge success. Through another dealer, Bruno Bischofberger( his most consistent representative ), Basquiat was formally introduced to Andy Warhol; afterwards, Basquiat instantly made a paint of the two of them, and had it delivered to Warhol, still wet, two hours after they’d parted. They formed the beginning of a relationship. Basquiat was then asked to do a show in LA, at the Gagosian gallery.

Film-maker Tamra Davis, who induced the Basquiat documentary Radiant Child ( 2009 ), met him in Los Angeles. She was an assistant at another gallery and a friend brought Basquiat over.” Jean-Michel came and he didn’t have a car and he didn’t know where to go and we demonstrated him around ,” she tells.” That was our assignment. It was the funnest thing ever. I was going to cinema school, and he really loved films, so we would go to the movies together, talk about them. He was the new thing in township, everyone wanted to get to know him. He was so charming, but it was also like hanging out with the Tasmanian demon. Everywhere he went, chaos would occur. You didn’t know what was going to happen next. It was invigorating, but it was also actually tiring .”

Basquiat, though, was never tired. He had unending energy, partly drug-fuelled: he needed it in LA, as he brought no paintings with him. He rarely did, for his indicates: instead he’d arrive early at whichever city the display was in and construct the paints there.” He could make 20 paintings in three weeks ,” says Davis. In 1986, she filmed him running: he would have source books open, the Tv on, music playing and worked on several canvases at once. For this first LA show, he made works including Untitled( Yellow Tar and Feathers ) and Untitled( LA Painting ), the picture that merely expensed Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa $ 110.5 m( in 1984, it went for $19,000 ). Every single one sold.

Once back in New York, Basquiat left Nosei and joined another merchant, Mary Boone. His reputation was rocketing. The opening for his solo reveal at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery was packed with celebrities, recall the Schorrs, who consider that particular depict to be his finest, and all the run sold on the first night.

Reviews, however, were scarce. Basquiat’s push-me-pull-you relationship with the art establishment was becoming evident: the dealer he wanted, Leo Castelli, rejected him as too troublesome; there was racism against him for his youth, for having first worked as a graffiti artist, for being untrained, and for being black. His run was represented as instinctive, as opposed to intellectual, though he was well versed in art history; some held the patronising notion that he didn’t know what he was doing.

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Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans, 1983. Photograph: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican
Racism also had an everyday impact: he would leave successful opening parties and find it impossible to get a cab. Herb Schorr would give him lifts to stimulate his life easier( they would gag that he should wear a peaked cap and be Basquiat’s driver ). George Condo, an artist on the rise at the same period, recollects going to a eatery with him in LA and not being allowed in.” I told:’ Do you know who this is? This is Jean-Michel Basquiat, the most important painter of our time .’ The guy told,’ He’s not coming in. We don’t allow his kind in here .'” Brook Bartlett recollects a journey to Europe in 1982 during which a rich Zurich socialite intimated that she, an 18 -year-old white woman, would be a civilising influence on Basquiat, who was four years older and already established. No wonder race became more prominent in his work: in his second LA Gagosian show, in 1983, Basquiat presented paintings such as Untitled( Sugar Ray Robinson ), Hollywood Africans , Horn Players and Eyes and Eggs , featuring black musicians, actors and sportsmen.

Drugs, too, were around more and more.” Everyone in the East Village and in the arts world in the 80 s did medications. Wall street did drugs, everyone did narcotics ,” says Mallouk. But after Mallouk and Basquiat split up in 1983, Basquiat got increasingly into heroin.” He was sniffing it, smoking it and injecting it ,” says Mallouk.” There were some models that he was hanging out with that were doing it and that’s how he got into it .” He became unreliable, travelling to Japan on a caprice, instead of going to Italy, where he had a present. But then, his focus was constantly diverted. Everyone wanted him. He was moving into a different world: his old friends still insured him, but intermittently.

During 1984 and 1985, Basquiat’s star shot higher and higher. There was a lot of travelling, a lot of attention. He was featured on the front covering of the New York Times Magazine in a suit with his feet bare. The Warhol estate rented him an even bigger place, a loft on Great Jones Street large enough for him to use as a studio as well as a flat, and in 1985 Basquiat and Warhol had a show of paints that they’d rendered jointly. Though the poster for the prove has subsequently been constantly reworked and sampled( even Iggy Azalea use it on the coverof her 2011 mixtape Ignorant ), at the time, the reveal was not a success. One critic called Basquiat Warhol’s ” mascot “. Tamra Davis tells this was hard for Basquiat.

” He really thought he was finally going to be appreciated ,” she says.” And instead they tore the reveal apart and said these horrible things about him and Andy and their relationship. He got so sad, and from then on it was hard to see a comeback. Anybody that you talked to that considered him around that time, he got more and more paranoid, his dread went deeper and deeper .”

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With Andy Warhol at their joint show in 1985, which was savaged by the critics. Photo: Richard Drew/ AP

And gradually, gradually his heroin use was catching up with him. Alhough he was greatly inspired by a trip to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and though he had proves all over the world- Tokyo, New York, Atlanta, Hanover, Paris- it became known among his friends that he was fighting. Mallouk would go over to his Great Jones loft.” I would beg him to get help and he only couldn’t do it ,” she tells.” He hurled the Tv at me. People would stop me on the street, telling Jean-Michel is in a really bad way, “hes having” spots all over his face, he looks really out of it, you need to go and assistance him … It was pretty common knowledge that he was not well .”

In February 1987, Andy Warhol succumbed at the age of 58. Basquiat became increasingly reclusive, though he still created work for shows, and made schemes, in early 1988, to revisit Ivory Coast to go to a Senufo village. He began to talk about doing something other than art: penning perhaps, or music, or setting up a tequila business in Hawaii. In 1988, he went to Hawaii to get clean: Davis find him in LA afterwards.” He was sober, he was gonna do better, it was like LA had a bit of Shangri-La about it for him .” But his visit was strange: he brought random people to dinner, people he’d only met at the airport, and he was unnaturally upbeat, too happy. It induced her afraid.

In 2014, Anthony Haden-Guest wrote an article for Vanity Fair that describes in detail Basquiat’s last night: 12 August 1988. In New York, he did medications during the day, and was dragged out to a Bryan Ferry aftershow party at bank-turned-club MK by his girlfriend, Kelly Inman, and another friend. He left promptly, with his pal Kevin Bray. They went back to the Great Jones loft, but Basquiat was nodding. Bray wrote him a note.” I DON’T WANT TO SIT HERE AND WATCH YOU DIE ,” it told. Bray read it out to Basquiat, and left.

The next day, Inman went to the apartment at 5.30 pm. Jean-Michel Basquiat was dead.

It was a sad objective to a rocket-flight life. And the subsequent oppose between Basquiat’s estate and various traders over pieces of his run was not fairly. Collectors sued for paintings bought but never received. Dealers claimed they owned works; the estate said they’d stolen them. There were too many Basquiat pieces knocking around on the market( 500 -6 00 canvasses, according to one expert ): the estate was able to corroborate the provenance of a few. Then the taxman arrived knocking: Basquiat hadn’t paid taxes for three years before his death.

But the years have softened or resolved the debates, and the run has had a life of its own. Though the majority of members of his most important art is owned by collectors, who keep it hidden away, it keeps seeping out, as if drawn to its public. And we want his run, it seems. Not merely are institutions eventually coming around to his genius, but his work can be seen on T-shirts, on sneakers( Reebok did a Basquiat scope ), on the arms of hip-hop artists. Just samples, short clips taken out of context, snippets and hints of the full, mind-whirling Basquiat experience.” He topics things and he references things he wants you to pay attention to ,” tells Davis.” His paints were meant to be seen by as many people as is practicable. They’re like movies or music , not just for person or persons alone .”

His art is irrevocably intertwined with his life: his charisma and drive, his race, his talent and sad demise. But it is bigger than that. Like the best art, it needs the world and the world needs it. And if you stand in front of a Basquiat and look, it sings its own song, just to you.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is at the Barbican, London EC2, from 21 September until 28 January 2018

Basquiat, as recollected by his friends

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Basquiat with then girlfriend Suzanne Mallouk. Photo: Duncan Fraser Buchanan

Michael Holman, musician and film-maker
Basquiat was born fully realised. And if anything, that is the kiss of death: you’re gonna burn brightly and burn fast. If you impressed him, if he complimented you, you simply felt you’d been blessed by a saint, it was a very emotionally and spiritually profound experience. That’s one of the ways to calibrate his otherworldliness. Because he would never compliment you if he didn’t believe it to his core.

We all went out[ virtually] every night, till 4 in the morning. It was so important. Not only did we go out and blow off steam, and gratify people, have sex in the bathroom, get high, all that stuff that you do in clubs. But within the clubs the scene also creatively happened … all kinds of happens, performances, art depicts … Club 57 and Mudd Club, they fed us and they directed us and guided us, brought us together with crucial people, in such a way that going to openings or concerts merely didn’t do. It generated their home communities that supported each other. It was a special day. With[ our band] Gray, I taped a microphone to the head of a snare drum, face down, and attached masking videotape to the drum, then pulled the masking tape off and allowed that to be a audio. Jean would loosen the strings on an electric guitar, then run a metal file across the strings.

In 1982, two years after Jean left Gray, I’d become an avant garde film-maker. I had this cable Tv reveal, and I asked him to do an interview. He made it clear to me, without saying anything, that I wouldn’t be able to do this interview if I didn’t get high with him. He was doing base, like a high-end form of crack. I’d never done it before and, boy, I’ve never done it since. I could barely maintain my focus. I could barely stop shaking, but it scarcely affected him. He had such a high tolerance.

He was a sensationalist. He pushed the boundaries of any kind of sensation, anything that would set off his endorphins, his nerve ending, his brain cells. He was after the sensation of something special and brilliant and different and electric and massive. Would he have been good at middle age? Well, part of middle age is the struggle of coming to this place in which you know you’ve plateaued in some ways. When we pass that hump and start going down the other way, we are living and succumbing at the same period. I don’t think he wanted to go there.

Lenore and Herb Schorr, major New York collectors, and the first to recognise and supporting Basquiat
Lenore : We were very excited by the first painting we ensure by him. This is not a common reaction, we’ve observed, even now! He’s a so difficult artist for many, many people. But we just felt he was a wonderful, brilliant artist, very, very early.

Herb : The artists understood him- some of them. They were there first, along with a few professionals. Basically, he had his collector base, but they weren’t knocking down the doors for them as they are today. There was not this hysteria. Really , nothing changes. We’re just finishing reading a book called The Portrait of Dr Gachet by Cynthia Saltzman, which is about a Van Gogh painting, and a lot of it is the same story as Basquiat. It takes 20 years after his death before a Van Gogh enters a museum. Anything which breaks new ground takes a while for people to catch up to.

Lenore : Jean was very smart and he knew his art history. Modernism, Picasso, right up to the present and Jean knew it all. So we really had a nice rapport. I could see it in his work, Picasso, Rauschenberg, they were all important influences, he had absorbed their work. It was beautifully rendered, remade in his language, with his message, with New York at the time, his personal feelings.

Herb : We didn’t see him in a drugged state, well maybe once, he seemed a little angry, he wasn’t the same person. He would call and perhaps he required more fund. Once, he called us up early in the morning and we lived in the suburbs, you know, and he said,” I require money, I have a painting for you .” But he didn’t turn out by the end of the day …

Lenore : It’s so sad, he tried to get off it. Andy Warhol tried hard with him, they would exercising together.

Herb : We have good memories of him. One hour he said he wanted to come up and have a white man’s barbecue.

Lenore : We expected him around three and he shows up at eight, with friends. It was quite a party, there was skinny-dipping- not me!- I had the children here and there was a little pot being smoked, I could reek it, and we were like, We’re gonna be busted! It was a great, fun evening.

Suzanne Mallouk, partner, 1981 -1 983, and lifelong friend
We immediately had this feeling of kindred spirits. We were the same age, I left home at 15, so did he. We were both first generation from immigrant families- my father was Palestinian, his father was Haitian. Both of us didn’t fit into any racial or the various ethnic groups. Both of us suffered racism. We both had old-world parents who utilized corporal punishment. My mother is English, from Bolton. His stepmother was English. It was very interesting, the common histories we had. Authoritarian fathers that assured European women as a award. And I think it truly shaped Jean-Michel’s experience. He was intelligent enough to resent that European females were somehow valued more, he saw the racism in that, yet most of his girlfriends were white. He was conflicted about it; he discussed it with me.

I hated that I had a job and he didn’t. I was an artist, too- how dare he build me run as a waitress and live off me! Often I would come home and he would take money out of my handbag to buy narcotics. We would have terrible fightings. He would say,” I promise I’ll look after you when I’m famous, please just let me do my art, I’m going to be famous very soon .” But I didn’t keep anything, so I didn’t get anything. He didn’t like me maintaining things, he would virtually be jealous of his own artwork. He would say,” Why do you want to keep something of mine when you have me ?” Eventually, he gave me the message that really I could no longer be an artist. He was the only artist in the family and I had to look after him. It was kind of misogynist.

It wasn’t that he only watched Andy[ Warhol] as a father figure, he also truly had a flirtation with him. Often when I was with the two of them together, it didn’t feel like I was there with Jean; it felt like I was there with two homosexual lovers. He once joked with me that he had had sexuality with Andy, but I don’t know if it was a joke. Jean had a history of being bisexual, but Warhol was asexual, so I don’t know. People misunderstand the relationship if they just think Andy was helping Jean. Jean was already he was highly established, he was already famous or Andy would not have been interested in him. I guess Andy needed new life inhaled into his career; I suppose the two of them needed each other.

Two weeks before his death, I was living with a new boyfriend in my little East Village shanty. Jean rang the buzzer in the middle of the night and we both get up, and told ” Who is it ?”” Jean-Michel, Jean-Michel, is Suzanne there ?” I buzzed him in but he never came up. I operated down the stairs to look for him, but he’d gone, and two weeks later he was dead. My heart was break when I ran down the stairs and he was gone. Because I never stopped loving him. I still feel love for him and he’s been dead for over 30 years.

You’re going to think I’m mad, but I have dreams, and in the dreams Jean-Michel is ageing. It’s as though he’s living in a parallel world. And often he’s annoyed that I’m there, he’s like,” Don’t tell anyone I’m here Suzanne. Don’t tell anyone I faked my demise, and especially don’t tell the New York Times !” He’s just living a really simple life,

Read more: www.theguardian.com