Ishmael Reed’s Play About Jean-Michel Basquiat Premieres In December

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(Photos: Ishmael Reed\YouTube)Playwright Ishmael Reed (above left) uses satire to explore aspects of American culture and history overlooked by others. His newest play, "The Slave Who Loved Caviar: A Theatrical Investigation Into the Relationship Between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol," challenges the notion that Basquiat was merely Warhol’s "mascot."Theater for the New City will present its world premiere December 23, 2021 to January 9, 2022, directed by Reed's frequent collaborator, Carla Blank.While Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is a household name, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) is less commonly known outside the art world. His father was born in Haiti; his mother was born in Brooklyn to parents of Puerto Rican descent. Jean-Michel became a graffiti artist, pop icon, musician and neo-expressionist painter. He unified street art with painting, bridging modes that were historically considered high and low art. Warhol and Basquiat collaborated intensely in 1984 and 1985, with Warhol assuming an almost parental role in Basquiat’s life. Warhol’s studio assistant, Ronny Cutrone, remembered, “It was like some crazy-art world marriage and they were the odd couple. The relationship was symbiotic. Jean-Michel thought he needed Andy’s fame, and Andy thought he needed Jean-Michel’s new blood. Jean-Michel gave Andy a rebellious image again.”Warhol died in...