Basquiat is a 1996 biopic/drama film directed by Julian Schnabel based on the life of American postmodernist/neo expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat, born in Brooklyn, used his graffiti roots as a foundation to create collage-style paintings on canvas.
Jeffrey Wright portrays Basquiat, and David Bowie plays Basquiat’s friend and mentor Andy Warhol. Additional cast members include Gary Oldman as a thinly-disguised Schnabel, Michael Wincott as the poet and art critic Rene Ricard; Dennis Hopper as Bruno Bischofberger; Parker Posey as gallery owner Mary Boone; and Claire Forlani, Courtney Love, Tatum O’Neal and Benicio del Toro in supporting roles as “composite characters”.
The film was written by Schnabel and Michael Thomas Holman, who was also credited for story development, with story by Lech J. Majewski and John F. Bowe. Holman, a former member of theatrical rock group The Tubes, had first met Basquiat in 1979 and together that year they founded an experimental, industrial/electronica group called Gray