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Jean-Michel Basquiat:
Now's the Time

BY Drew Rowsome

When culture vultures as prescient as Andy Warhol and Madonna start appropriating one's ideas and persona, one has arrived. Jean-Michel Basquiat rose out of the '80s New York club scene to become a groundbreaking visual artist whose style influenced all who came after. The AGO's exhibition, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's the Time, displays the art and the artist's concerns with the focus firmly on Basquiat's political concerns and place in the firmament of great artists. The works range from conceptual sketches and an early graffiti works with Keith Haring to massive canvases slathered with explosive colours that have an extraordinary power. Basquiat is quoted as saying in defense of his occasionally cartoonish faux-naif work, "I really can draw." He could do much more than "draw."

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's the Time runs Sat, Feb 7 to Sun, May 10 at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St W.,