Original PhotoBASQUIAT, Jean-Michel. Richard Corman [photographer]. Silver gelatin photograph. New York: 1984. Signed, dated, and numbered ("2/2") by Corman on the verso. Image: 16 x 16 in.; framed: 23 x 25 in. In archival frame with museum plexi-glass. One of only two vintage prints produced of an iconic Basquiat portrait.
As Corman recalled: "For me, as a young photographer, and even 30 years later, I'm always looking to find someone's story behind their eyes, and in his own way, Jean-Michel shared that with me. It was kind of magical, even though I didn't know what I had at the time. I didn't know who I was photographing, other than someone with a unique soul and spirit. I felt how multi-layered he was. His presence was quiet yet mesmerizing…I would say he was comfortable, uncomfortable, angry, curious, and intense. He just created his own space and energy, and I followed it. His hands, eyes, and body language were so expressive, and he revealed so much through his luminous presence.” Basquiat was one of the most successful contemporary artists working in New York at the time of this portrait, and Corman would go on to become one of our most celebrated portrait photographers. Corman shot 79 frames of the iconic artist for this 1984 photo session at Basquiat's Great Jones St. studio, most of which he never published or shared.