Basquiat (aka SAMO©) at the Canal Zone Party, April 1979, © Anton Perich
Basquiat (aka SAMO©) at the Canal Zone Party, April 1979, © Anton Perich 

06/04/2023 - 30/07/2023

Cité de la Musique - Philharmonie de Paris 
Cité de la Musique 
221, avenue Jean Jaurès 
75019 Paris   

The Philharmonie de Paris is organizing the first-ever exhibition dedicated to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s powerful relationship with music. A feast for the ears as well as the eyes, Basquiat Soundtrack presents a rich and heroic score to the meteoric output of a peerless artist, offering new insight into how his visual work was informed by music – from Beethoven to Madonna, zydeco to John Cage, Louis Armstrong to the Zulu Nation.

Bringing together an extraordinary ensemble of almost one hundred artworks, this exhibition is an immersive experience, plunging us into the places and sounds that shaped Basquiat’s artistic evolution and fed his inspiration. The exhibition’s bold scenography shows his pictorial inventiveness in a new light, in which xeroxes are on the canvas what samples are to a song, and mixing appears as a structuring principle. Alongside the artworks, Basquiat Soundtrack presents rare archival documents, emblematic instruments and never-before-seen audiovisual media, providing new perspective on Basquiat’s work which, though closely linked to club culture – from the underground to the most flamboyant of 1980s nightclubs – has also revealed its universal dimension.