Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

by Javaka Steptoe

“His drawings are not neat or clean, nor does he color inside the lines. They... read more

“His drawings are not neat or clean, nor does he color inside the lines. They are sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still BEAUTIFUL.” Steptoe’s breathtaking homage to street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is poetic both in its lyrical narrative and in its magnificent illustrations. Steptoe makes no attempt to replicate Basquiat’s art style; rather he gives a sense of it through his own complex and original collage and paintings on wood. Born in Brooklyn to a Puerto Rican mother and Haitian American father, young Jean-Michel was always encouraged to draw and create. When he left home as a teenager and moved to Lower Manhattan, he began to paint graffiti art and poems throughout the city, always signing his work SAMO©. His brilliant artistry was soon recognized and he had success as a gallery artist before he died at age

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

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