The Andy Warhol Diaries (2022) s01e04 Episode Script

Collab: Andy & Basquiat

1 Something strange happened.
I thought Jon was trying to kill me.
I spent my winter vacation in Aspen.
It's the best skiing, and they have the richest kids who go there and the prettiest kids, and everybody is straight.
We were on a snowmobile when he pushed me over a cliff.
I thought he did it on purpose, but somehow there were trees there.
And I fell off into a deep snow.
But I didn't realize 'til I got back how scary going off the cliff was.
And then it sunk in what happened, so, I confronted Jon.
And he told me I was just being crazy.
And I was relieved.
Drove over to Jimmy Buffett's for his annual New Year's Eve party.
It was all country western.
Barry Diller arrived with Diana Ross.
And Jack Nicholson with Anjelica Huston.
Jack's got a big fat belly now.
Couri Hay had taken one of our tables and filled it up with boys.
But then Jimmy Buffett gave us another table, and the party started getting good.
Five minutes before New Year's, Jon and I decided we didn't want to be in a crowd, so we went outside.
Not to hear them singing "Auld Lang Syne".
one, happy New Year! And we watched the fireworks outside.
It was great.
And they had finished all their kissing and stuff.
Nobody even knew we were gone.
This year it'll be a whole new look.
New people.
Because a few years into a decade is when it really becomes a decade.
The '80s.
They'll be looking over all the people and picking the ones that will survive.
It's when the people will either become part of the future or part of the past.
There was a boy A very strange enchanted boy They say he wandered very far Very far Over land and sea A little shy And sad of eye But very wise Was he The greatest thing You'll ever learn Is just to love And be loved In return The energy in New York City in the early '80s was rough, raw, jagged as opposed to what typically happened in the art world.
As somebody said, it was white wine, white walls and just white people.
That was what the art world mainly was until we came in with some colors, some flavors, some fun, you know.
The word rippled to Andy, and then Andy showed up.
I'm just really excited about all the new kids coming up.
I like the graffiti artists.
None of them are really famous, but they are actually very good.
I started painting on the walls.
And started doing it on the streets, on the trucks.
Everywhere I could put my name at.
As people of color, the feeling at the time was that our work was not articulate enough and not relevant enough.
Because it wasn't their structure.
It wasn't their struggles.
When I was doing graffiti on the streets, I made a connection between what pop artists had been doing or what they were inspired by: comics, advertising, logos for products and things like that.
And that was what a lot of graffiti was inspired by.
So, I had this idea to paint a homage to Andy Warhol's Campbell's soup can.
I connected with Lee Quiñones, one of the master graffiti painters of the movement at that time.
Obviously I knew about Andy's soup cans by that time, but I was sort of like, a little, like, reluctant to get involved in that.
Because I was like, "We're going to paint what?" The soup can is Warhol's most iconic piece.
And Fab Five and this whole movement really knew the power of logos.
So, they looked to Warhol as this idol that they wanted to live up to.
Warhol understood the value of things like Campbell's soup and all of these American products, in that you become American by participating, and we are the culture of consumption.
So, he was so ahead of his time to understand that.
I think they were really saying, "We are aware of the importance of this painting.
And we're gonna reappropriate it in moving billboard form.
" And when it was running, it was the most amazing feeling.
Here's this iconic piece, that is now speaking our language.
And we've arrived.
See, that's Fred being super clever.
Because people saw it and went, "Oh my God.
That's like the Andy Warhol soup cans.
" I think, for the first time there was a definitive thing that they could identify with.
It was introducing us to what would then kind of become the art world.
You know, it's just a way of telling the art world, like, "We see you, and we're coming.
And we definitely belong in this conversation.
" And by the time Jean-Michel arrives, it's not even a question.
The '80s, from 1980 on, is such a flashpoint.
It is the golden age of the art world, the art star.
There were people in the art world waiting for that moment.
They were looking at their watches, like, "When is the next thing coming?" Here it is.
Chris called and said he wanted to go to the PS1 thing out in Queens.
It had gotten good write-ups.
Being around Andy, I was so used to going to exhibitions that were so slick.
And this was just an empty warehouse, and of course, nothing was framed, but it didn't matter.
New York New Wave at PS1 was the blueprint for this new type of gathering.
And Andy walked in.
He was a sensation.
He was walking with his entourage through the crowd.
And it was mind you, it was packed.
Jon came, and he really sees things in paintings that I don't see.
Like, there was an abstract painting.
And he saw all these figures of people painted over it.
They were there, but I hadn't seen them.
And paintings do have things to say.
He wasn't necessarily the artist of the hour, but he was giving light and shine by recognizing us.
And from there on, the floodgates I mean, we breached all the levees at that point, of the art world.
He's really looking at what's going on, so, there's an interview that he makes, and he's so excited about Basquiat.
He said, "Oh, New York in the '80s is like it was for us in the '60s.
" And he's very excited by the young energy.
Chris had invited us to the Keith Haring show.
He's the one that does those figures all over the city, the graffiti.
Haring has become hot property.
They ooh and they aah.
Downstairs is unbelievable.
I want to buy a few of these.
And they pay plenty.
Went all the way down there to see what people were doing, and I got jealous.
People have inevitably found out about me, 'cause they saw the work in the subway.
And also then through galleries and now museums, also.
This Keith thing reminded me of the old days.
When I was up there.
And then we went over to Tony Shafrazi's gallery and saw the works of somebody named Kenny somebody.
- Hi! How are you? - Oh hi! You alright? I'm Andy.
- Hi.
- Hi.
For me, Andy redefined what it is to be an artist.
I was a teenager with, you know, the hopes and dreams moving to New York City Andy was the impetus.
I was, like, fantasizing about the '60s and creating our own Factory.
And, I think, a lot of other young artists had the same idea.
'Cause we all arrived at the same time with the same inspiration.
He was like our mentor in a way.
And Jean-Michel's show sold out in Los Angeles.
These kids are selling everything.
And Jean-Michel's work is wonderful.
It's so exciting.
And I think he will last.
If I had only stayed with doing Campbell's soup cans.
Because everybody only does one painting anyway.
Just one painting, over and over again.
Which is what everybody remembers you for anyway.
If you do what Andy Warhol did: take photographs, make silkscreens and then paint different colors on canvases, and then you see a young kid come along and do these over the top astounding drawings paintings, sketches I'm sure it made him really nervous, like, "How relevant am I?" Jean-Michel was really fully formed before he met Andy.
He is the most esteemed young artist on the international scene.
And Bruno Bischofberger was one of Andy's art dealers as well.
He arranges a lunch to introduce Andy and Jean-Michel properly.
Went down to meet Bruno Bischofberger.
He brought Jean-Michel Basquiat with him.
He is the kid who used the name SAMO, when he used to sit on the sidewalk in Greenwich Village and paint T-shirts.
I'd give him ten dollars here and there, and sent him up to Serendipity to try to sell the T-shirts.
Back then, if you were walking around downtown New York, you would see the SAMO graffiti, this astonishing concrete poetry.
It had its own logic.
And a very distinctive hand.
There was nothing else like it.
Bruno discovered him, and now he's on easy street.
He's got a great loft on Chrystie.
He reached into his pocket, and he said he'd pay me back the $40 he owed me from those days when he painted T-shirts and used to borrow money from me.
I said, "Oh no, that's okay.
" And I was embarrassed.
I was surprised that's all I'd given him.
I thought it was more.
He's Black, but some people say he's Puerto Rican, and so, I don't know.
He told me he went to a school in Brooklyn, Saint Ann's.
That's sort of chic, because you had to pay.
And then he said that when his father lost money, he had to be bussed up to a public school where there was a lot of Italians.
And the boys there used to beat him up.
Jean-Michel was born in Brooklyn.
Father was a Haitian businessman.
Mother was a painter.
Started taking her son to museums at a very young age.
So, he was very familiar with the institutional art world.
Had lunch with him.
And then I took a Polaroid.
And Jean went home, and within two hours he brought a painting back, still wet, of him and me together.
I mean, just getting to Chrystie Street must have taken an hour.
Jean-Michel excuses himself early, rushes back to his studio, and paints one of, I think, the great masterpieces of contemporary art.
This double portrait: a self-portrait of himself and a portrait of Andy Warhol.
And, he delivers it to the Factory that afternoon, still wet, in a Checker taxi.
And, it's presented to Andy as a gift.
And that begins their relationship.
Went down to meet Jean-Michel and did a workout with him.
Then, I took pictures of him in a jockstrap.
He's put on 20 pounds, and he looked handsome.
It was beautiful and sunny.
Called Jean-Michel and he came and rolled some joints.
He was really nervous about his show opening at Mary Boone.
So, we went over to Yana's and had our nails done.
Then he wanted a new outfit.
So, we went to this store where he always buys his clothes The two of us would make a good story for Vogue.
No way to control it It's totally automatic Whenever you're around I'm walking blindfolded Completely automatic All of my systems are down Down, down I think there was something in the tabloids about "Has Andy found a new boyfriend or someone to hang out with?" Jon never seemed threatened with Jean-Michel.
I remember mentioning it to Jonny, and he said, "It's not like that at all.
The older artist, younger artist.
And I love Jean-Michel.
" And actually Jean-Michel did a beautiful painting of Jon.
Jean-Michel came down to the office early.
He was reading his big review in The Voice.
They called him the most promising artist on the scene.
For Warhol, his history is fascination with young stars, even if they're stars that he's kind of making in his own studio.
But, you know, I mean, we know he's fascinated with, uh just the erotic energy of youth.
The creative energy of youth.
You're on top of the world.
Wait, I'm too embarrassed.
We have to do a take two.
Take two? Why are you too embarrassed? This is my first time on television.
And, they were both so comfortable with each other.
It's clear, you know, for me, even in these pictures and videos.
So, uh, I understand now that you, uh, hobnob with the hobnobs.
I feel it was a mutually beneficial relationship, friendship on every level.
You had Jean, somewhat of a prodigy.
And Andy picked up on his energy.
And Jean was able to work with that master, and really see up close and personal, how he had cultivated this incredible world.
So, at once he was big brother, he was mentor.
At another level they were like creative equals too.
Jean-Michel doesn't need anything from Warhol.
Warhol doesn't really need anything materially from Jean-Michel.
Something just genuine, you know, was going on.
Jean-Michel came by the office to work out.
And I told him I was going to Milan.
And he said he'd go too.
I didn't think he would come, but while I was waiting in line at the airport, he appeared.
He's just so nutty, but cute and adorable.
Come le stelle noi Soli nella notte noi ci incontriamo Bruno called.
At the Christie's auction, Jean-Michel's painting went for $20,000.
Jean-Michel is trying to get so famous so fast.
And if it works, he'll have it.
Questa corsa senza fine I called Jean-Michel's room and said we'd be leaving in one second.
He hadn't slept in four days.
I went into his room and photographed him getting out of bed with a hard-on.
figli delle stelle Figli Della notte che ci gira intorno Noi siamo figli delle stelle I think Andy had a real crush.
Andy never touched people, or let people touch him, he didn't like that.
He was infatuated with Jean-Michel in both a paternal and homosexual way.
And Jean-Michel liked that attention.
We're gonna do our act together.
I mean, it's uh I thought I was the straight man, since you have to tell jokes.
Well yeah, but you have to give me When I ask you this way, it comes off so terrible on TV, so, I have to be cool and not move at all.
- You can't be yourself? - You made me smile.
And you made me, uh, move around too much.
He deeply cared about Jean-Michel.
And, there was another layer to this: that my great friend Paige Powell at Interview, and a regular evening companion for Andy, began dating Jean-Michel.
So, then there is this jealousy where Andy feels that Paige is his social partner, but then Paige gets involved with Jean-Michel, so, it gets very interesting.
When I first started going out with him, Andy was fascinated, so he wanted to go on the dates with us.
So, we did that a little bit.
Until it got to a point where Andy really liked Jean-Michel.
And then I was kicked out of the group.
Cabbed to meet Jean-Michel.
He's in love with Paige Powell.
But Paige is really upset because he hasn't called her.
Paige said she might just forget him.
That it had to be all or nothing.
But naturally, people are people.
And a fool is a fool.
So, no matter what they say, they will just go on being in love.
Andy was enamored of Jean-Michel.
And loved the energy that he put out.
And also that he was successful.
But I would say that Jean-Michel was asking more questions about Andy than Andy about Jean-Michel.
They were trying to figure each other out.
I look, uh, really bad, and this is the makeup person in the show.
And uh, you know, my hair is a mess.
- Just take these little things out here.
- Oh, what are they? - Red lint.
- Red lint? When it comes to Basquiat, I tell some stories, and they don't wanna hear it.
One of the things you couldn't bring up was any hint of non-heterosexuality.
And he was a lady's man.
He had a lot of girlfriends, but he also liked guys, and they just don't wanna talk about that.
That was a rumor and sort of a thought of, like, he may have been bisexual, there was lots of activity on the streets.
It was very, boom.
It was open.
Keith Haring wanted to go to Rounds.
The gay place at 53rd and 2nd.
But Jean-Michel wouldn't go.
He told me that in the old days, when he didn't have any money, he would hustle and get ten dollars.
And he didn't want to remember that.
And even the hidden fact about homophobic tendencies within the community of color onto itself, which I learned from a lot of guys in my neighborhood, like, "Don't hang with those dudes," you know, all these derogatory names.
You've spoken about how you weren't totally comfortable with Andy as a gay man at that time.
You know, I was raised a different way, and I just don't think I could accept it.
Being a straight guy with gay friends always brought everything into question with all of your fr Everybody was always in question.
Here's Futura 2000 wearing a smurf hat by Vivienne Westwood.
That people may think you were gay? Absolutely.
How devastating would that have been to your public life? Well, I mean, something like homosexuality was just beyond something I could understand.
I think that's what I mean, I, not played myself, but I I removed myself from a societal event.
Just simply on the fear that I would be perceived to be part of it.
My mom always told me not to do two things, if I was going to be into men, then I gotta follow that rule.
And maybe that's kinda when my homophobia came about as well.
You know, like, this kind of weird thing, like, "Oh no, I don't do that, I don't do this.
But you can do this, and I can do that.
" You know what I mean? But in the early '80s, New York City was an outrage of sex everywhere.
So for gay men, they were wilding.
There was sex everywhere.
Discotheque Please.
Like, supermarket, Prospect Park, Central Park The subways Toileting like, over the top.
And then boom, the AIDS crisis crept in quite quickly enough, and then that's when my life changed.
And like, cut my whole sexuality out, you know, like, right as I was about to blossom.
Victor gave me a call and said that he had been with some Amsterdam boys.
And that everybody's afraid of getting the gay cancer.
So now they fuck with their big toe.
Now, it's whoever has the biggest toe.
He said it's wild.
If you have sex with more than one partner, it's like Russian roulette.
Because you can get AIDS.
Or you can get lucky.
AIDS is a killer.
Protect yourself.
Before AIDS, it really was a time of freedom.
An amazing ability to just experiment.
And then when AIDS came in, it really changed how everyone looked at sex.
It was the best of times and the worst of times.
Talk about A Tale of Two Cities.
It was the best time in the world to be an artist in New York's Lower East Side.
Every night was a gallery opening, DJs playing, and breakdancing was just starting.
It was incredible.
And then AIDS started happening.
And it was like this huge dark cloud came in over the city.
At first, only gays and IV drug users were being killed by AIDS.
But now we know, every one of us could be devastated by it.
Maura met me and told me that Page Six had asked her if I was sick.
And I was shocked.
I said, "Well, tell them I'm not.
You know I'm not.
You can see I'm not.
" And I know they meant AIDS.
And it was too scary.
And she said, "Oh, they just meant the flu.
" But I am sure they didn't.
I don't know.
It's scary.
There was a lot of blame, a lot of shame.
Gay people were this diseased group that you didn't wanna be around.
Suddenly it was, like, really not okay.
If the only way is to quarantine people I don't think there's any way around it.
They're gonna have to do it.
We wanna identify every person who is a carrier.
We wanna identify every possible way to stop them from spreading the disease.
I wouldn't be surprised if they started putting gays in concentration camps.
All the fags will have to get married, so they won't have to go away to camps.
It will be like for a green card.
"All the fags will have to get married, so they won't have to go away to camps.
It will be like for a green card.
" Yeah People were afraid to shake your hand or get near you.
Just reading this, like I remember that.
How people thought you were infected.
And you hear these stories about people having a dinner party and giving the gay person the paper plate.
You know, it was bad enough, what this disease did.
But it really was also a lot of shame.
It was a tough time, the early '80s.
You know, when things start to tumble into AIDS and people getting sick, but there was also a huge level of denial at that point.
No one could predict where this whole plague was going.
It was just baby steps of, "What's going on?" You know, so life was normal.
Whenever Jon was around, Jon Gould, I don't remember there ever being any other person, where Andy had that kind of separation with.
You know, it was Jon Gould's world.
Walked to Columbus Avenue, through the park, with Jon.
And when Jon runs, he dances, and runs up telephone poles, and swings on trees.
I did get a sense that there was a real true love between them.
I would even say sometimes "googly-eyed" for Jon Gould.
I was very taken aback, 'cause I'd never seen Andy that way.
Then Jon and I walked to the castle in Central Park.
We went to the boathouse, and we rented a rowboat.
We rowed for an hour, and it was like a modern Seurat.
All these people on the lake.
We got stuck on a rock.
And then four girls rammed into us.
That was fun.
And then they were gone, and Jon and I were alone.
And then I thought I was Shelley Winters in A Place in the Sun.
I do love you, George.
Stay where you are.
I can't swim.
Andy was getting ready to want him to move in.
I think Andy needed home, I think Jon needed home.
Oh, can I have this? And I'd be like this Andy wanted to connect, and he wanted somebody who'd be there for him.
What did you think when you went to the townhouse, and Jon had a room there? It was a moment, I can see it right now, that really impacted me.
And I didn't really know what to say.
It was an uncomfortable situation.
Amongst two people who are never uncomfortable with each other.
He took me into his room, and he said, "This is my room.
" I think he said, "This might be a little strange to you.
But we have a non-sexual relationship.
" Um That was it.
I don't I think I was sort of speechless.
It was a little hard to figure out.
But, you know, I loved my brother.
And, okay, this is, you know, where he is.
I would question Jon all the time.
"Is this really what you want? I mean, he's an older guy.
Do you wanna live with this old guy?" I think the fabulous life was the hardest part for him to get away from.
Because you're down here, then all of a sudden you're living on East 66th in a townhouse, with every door open.
Anything you wanted to see, anywhere you wanted to go.
Anything you wanted to do.
We got to hang out with Jean-Michel because of Andy.
And it was illuminating and exciting.
But he would be quick to tell people that they weren't sexual.
I remember Steve Rubell, who Andy sort of confided in.
Steve once said to me, "Oh, I think Jon Gould just dances naked for Andy.
And that's their idea of sex and whatever.
" You know, I love that Tallulah Bankhead comment, when she was asked if Montgomery Clift was gay.
And she said, "How would I know? He never sucked my cock.
" Who knows what goes on behind closed doors.
Sex is different for everyone.
My take on it is, he never got laid.
Because I didn't get my watch, okay? So, as far as I know, that never happened.
Jon told me, he slept in the same bed with Andy.
So, I disagree.
But no one's in the room.
I did not ask him who was fucking who.
So, Andy's idea of sex, and my idea of sex may be completely different.
What turned him on.
Andy used to say, his idea of sex was making popcorn, and sitting in bed, and, you know, watching movies.
Decided to see The Outsiders, which was just opening, and I loved it.
What are you doing? - Come on, Soda.
- You like fights, Soda? Yeah, I like fights, man.
You like fights, Soda? You can't believe it.
Young boys with dyed hair reading poetry in the sunset.
The Sal Mineo type.
And all the boys are so cute.
And the schmaltzy music playing as if the boys are going to kiss.
Seems like there's gotta be someplace without Greasers or Soces.
There must be someplace.
Just plain, ordinary people.
It was like seeing Bruce Weber photographs.
Every boy was a raving beauty.
You could say it's about beauty, but really underneath it it's true love among men.
Andy definitely felt lonely to me.
I don't think that's any surprise to anybody.
And he definitely had a sadness about him.
And for that to permeate through my youth, that sort of lack of self-awareness that I had then, it must have been palpable.
Andy and Jon met each other in places where they both needed it at the time.
And, by the time Jon moved in with him, he was like, "I don't know if I can fully commit to this.
I don't know if I'm in a hundred percent.
But, I'm trying it.
" So many people read Warhol as sort of emotionless, or somehow never fell in love, or never had love in his life.
But that isn't true.
He had many relationships throughout his life.
In the early '60s, the late '50s, there's someone like Edward Wallowitch.
He was an early boyfriend.
John Giorno was very open about being intimate with Warhol in the late '50s, early '60s.
Danny Williams is a young love interest.
Obviously there's Jed Johnson for a very long time.
But, in terms of seeing a full expression, almost a confession of intimate love comes out with Jon Gould the most prominently in the collection.
And when you do see it, it's surprising.
Because so many people have downplayed Jon's role in Warhol's life.
But you can't deny when you see these letters and poems, that there really was reciprocal affection between them.
Andy, on 57th Street As the two of us waited for the green light We drifted by the window displays Trees shaking, clear of winter I watched the snow in the park I think of you, asleep on the other side The snow falling past your window You, cozy warm Finally I feel the same The snow came That's Jon.
My dearest Jon.
Whenever you're in California, I spend all my time alone.
Crying and thinking of you, as if no one else exists in the world.
I'm so lonely and thinking of you.
I love you so much, I can't tell.
Jon was so full of life.
He loved to go dancing.
He loved to ski.
Jon just loved to do everything.
And I think Andy loved that joie de vivre that Jon had.
And wished he, in a sense, had had it.
I don't really think anyone really knows Andy the way that Jon did.
And they had a relationship, that was so tender, and they were very, very close.
"Andy, there is a certain country road I take to the ocean that rises over a New Hampshire hill, and on reaching the crescent I feel as if I am rising into you.
" You know, to have that one person in your life that is the safest place in the world, and you can do everything with and be your absolute, complete self, and that was Jon.
I wish you were here now.
Just so I could smell you.
And kiss you on the ears.
Please hurry home.
I can't live without you.
All my love forever.
He did anything for Jon.
I think there were a lot of people that were very possessive over him.
And, you know, Jon gave Andy a freedom that maybe he didn't have before.
And there was also a lot of money at stake.
I would imagine.
I think Jon sort of, like, with the Factory, he would just tell me, "Jeez.
It's all about who can get closest to the king.
" It was like Versailles.
There was a lot of infighting.
A lot of crap went on down there.
I found Jon would distract him by bringing something up when I'm trying to talk to him, and probably there was a certain amount of resentment.
I didn't instantly dislike Jon Gould.
You give everybody a chance.
I, I guess, saw him as a threat.
And things Andy said, you know, were designed, on one hand, to say, "You should like Jon and know him.
" On the other hand, it was always like, "Jon thinks we should do this with the magazine.
Jon thinks you shouldn't And Jon thinks this, and Jon thinks that.
" I was like, "Well who is this Jon who now suddenly is like, I've gotta accommodate his ideas?" I think he was planning to make Jon editor.
I don't know for a fact if that's really actually true.
But that's the kind of stuff Andy would say.
Like, "You should edit Interview.
" And probably Bob heard that, but that never would've happened.
He put a lot of attention, a lot of stock, into what Jon said.
He would ask his opinion on everything.
But Jon's opinion was pretty spot on.
I remember very well Fred saying that maybe he was running out of ideas.
I don't know.
Went all the way to Chinatown with Benjamin.
We went looking around for new ideas.
But it's so hard to do these things all at the same time.
All the pressure looking for new ideas.
The pressure of painting.
The pressure of running the business.
It's a lot of stress.
And I was talking to Fred, who had been to the galleries.
And he told me I had to start getting new ideas to paint.
I got the book of my old paintings out, and I saw all the clever things I used to do.
And I just can't think of anything clever to do now.
Maybe I should do soup cans again.
Went to the office and did two big Rorschach paintings.
The Rorschach test.
The things that the patient's imagination sees in these cards give significant clues to his personality makeup.
And they looked kind of good.
I love the late abstract work of Andy Warhol.
Oxidations, camouflage, Rorschach.
It's Andy taking abstraction into his direction.
The Rorschachs are a good idea.
And doing it just means I had to spend some time writing down what I see in the Rorschachs.
If I could write down everything I see, that would make it more interesting.
They're still ahead of their time.
But when they were made, most of these bodies of work weren't even exhibited.
The Rorschachs were never exhibited.
Warhol never felt the level of acceptance from the fine art world that he desired.
And I think that plays out in the Diaries.
There's a painting of mine going up for auction, but it's only estimated at $100,000.
I think it's a Coke bottle.
Roy's things go for five, six or seven.
And Jasper's go for a million.
- Well, I like Roy Lichtenstein.
- You're mad he's more expensive, right? I'd be mad if in 20 years, Keith Haring is $500,000, and I'm only 100,000.
Oh, I'm not mad.
I like their work better than I like my work.
- Yeah? - Yeah, they're worth all that.
Only my disaster paintings are considered the "in" paintings.
Even the Campbell's soup cans are out.
I guess I'm just not a good painter.
I get so confused looking at art.
You don't know whether to change or stay the same.
Well, I know.
I won't change.
I won't change.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a young genius, and Andy saw that, and he wanted a piece of it, you know.
I think Warhol wanted a piece of it, the moment Warhol's career felt like it was, at least externally, was flagging.
Jean-Michel came by, and he was in a pretty good mood.
He was painting some big screaming people.
Then afterwards there was a dinner that Lorne Michaels was giving at Cafe Luxembourg, so we went over there.
And Clemente was there, and I felt bad because Jean-Michel and I are doing the combined canvases now without him, and they are coming out so good.
But maybe we'll give Clemente some of our rejects and see if he can do anything with them.
He's really sweet.
In the beginning, it was Clemente, Jean-Michel and Andy.
Andy really liked Francesco Clemente.
He liked his art.
But what was happening was making him guilty: that Jean-Michel and Andy's chemistry was really gelling, and they started doing work on the side.
This is an extraordinary, historic collaboration.
Arguably the greatest artist of his generation collaborating with the greatest artist of the younger generation.
Is there anything else like this in our history? This is an amazing thing.
Called Jean-Michel, and he said he'd come up.
He came and rolled some joints.
We painted an African masterpiece together, 100 feet long.
He's better than I am though, but oh well.
He got me into painting differently.
So that's a good thing.
Something that Jean-Michel did to influence Andy is to try to get Andy to go back to the hand paint, 'cause Andy hadn't really done much of that in years.
It was all a photomechanical process.
Jean inspired Andy to really pick the brushes up and touch the canvas in a way he hadn't in so long.
That was pure inspiration.
He'd come up with the idea for one, and then you'd come up with one? Or how did you do the collaboration? He'd start most of the paintings.
He would start one and put some something very concrete or recognizable on, like a newspaper headline or a product logo.
Then I'd sort of deface it, and try to get him to work more on it.
Then I'd work more on it So, did you have rules, like you couldn't actually paint over his stuff, or? No, we used to paint over each other's stuff all the time.
It was a conversation.
It was an artistic conversation.
We generally start with Andy putting down something from the pop vocabulary.
And then Jean-Michel canceling it out, adding to it.
Sometimes he'd just paint out everything that Andy did.
Talk about egos.
He'd sometimes obliterate half of what Andy painted.
Obliterate it.
I hear we are doing some work together, and you paint me out.
- Where did I paint you out? - Everything I've done you painted me out.
Where? Both of them are competing with each other.
And Jean-Michel keeps on covering what Andy's doing.
And Andy goes, "Oh, Jean, this was good.
Why did you cover that?" And he goes, "Fuck you.
" That's what Basquiat does.
He crosses things out.
But in some ways making them better too.
He sort of made Warhol his source material that he painted on top of, you know.
It's a really interesting way to think about a collaboration.
When you're a powerful person, sometimes you don't wanna feel that power.
And you want someone else to be more powerful.
I think he wanted to feel that from a man.
But if you're demure and you're swish and you're holding back, it's also an invitation for someone to take over.
Uh What's a? - Here, here.
You look too guarded.
- Oh, okay.
Should we repeat anything else? So, when I look at those paintings, I see that struggle.
I see I see him hiding.
I see him wanting to be valorized in some way, but also protected.
Andy was mom for Basquiat in some ways, I think it's a really interesting way to think about that relationship.
But I also think that Andy was in love with Basquiat.
That affection was certainly mutual.
I don't know if it was sexual or not.
But there was a relationship there, you know.
It was like this: he got shot, and he retreated.
He retreated away from the crazy artists and he retreated to safer, you know, wealthy people, which would be the uptown world.
But in our opinion, they weren't as cool as bohemians.
So, we kind of brought him back downtown.
Back with the artists.
Cabbed down to meet Jean-Michel.
I had a fight with the cab driver.
He wanted to go the way that he wanted to go.
Then Jean-Michel wanted to go to dinner.
So, we decided to go down to Odeon.
So that way, we'd be close to Area.
It's the new disco at 157 Hudson Street.
And we went there.
Jean-Michel has the right walk to pass right through the crowd.
And Steve Rubell was walking around saying, "Great, great.
" He was being so jealous, wishing it were his club.
And really, the fashion is so good again with these disco kids.
They have a real look.
Like the boys with the straight cut over one eye.
So extreme.
It was like the '60s.
It's just my kind of movie.
And it would be great if it weren't that it smelled like shit.
I was so lucky that I was there for their infamous "Art Evening," where Andy exhibited himself.
And the installations were great.
My display window had my invisible sculpture in it.
And he just stood there during the opening.
And Jean-Michel was in a dark mood.
But I didn't lecture him about the heroin he takes.
Because I didn't want to have a fight.
Everyone was doing a lot of drugs back then.
I just wouldn't tolerate the drugs.
And he knew it, so he'd create situations, where we'd be out to lunch, and then he would say, "Oh, I gotta run down to the studio.
Someone's coming in to pick up a painting," or something like that.
But then he would never come back.
Jean-Michel called at eight in the morning, and we philosophized.
He got scared reading the Belushi book.
I told him that if he wanted to become a legend too, he should just keep going on like he was.
But actually, if he's even on the phone talking to me, he's okay.
With Andy and Jean-Michel, I mean, the thing that's so noticeable is that whenever he was with Andy, he was sober and he was happy.
And when he was using drugs, he was very self-destructive and depressed.
And he fluctuated between those two extremes.
Jean was going through many a struggle by that time.
He was like a man lost at sea at times.
And then being rescued, and then drifting again.
Not only the substance abuse, which was a symptom of the problem, it's not the problem, it was much deeper seated, than all of us could see.
In the context of the art world in the early '80s there was a push to, you know, make superstars.
But in terms of Black superstars, there could only be one at a time.
And Basquiat was the one.
He was the anointed one.
Everybody thinks Basquiat is a genius now, but in the '80s people were very on the fence about his status, you know, with a lot of misunderstanding of the work, that comes from racism, but also, the scholarship around the work hadn't developed yet.
So, there's a lot of things that he had to deal with as a young artist.
You're seen as some sort of a primal expressionism, is that? - Like an ape? - Well uh, let's - A primate? - Well, I don't know.
- Is that? - You said it, I don't know.
Just the things that Jean was accomplishing at that time were undeniable.
Too many would describe Jean in racist terms.
That ignorance They just couldn't believe that a young Black man, 23, 24, 25, could be accomplishing these things.
The art world, which is full of liberal left-wing types, was feeling that they needed to make a bow in that direction, uh the disadvantaged, uh, minorities, and so on.
His contribution to art is so minuscule, as to be practically nil.
That kind of scrutiny, that kind of pressure, that kind of assault on your legitimacy, some folks are kind of wary of you, or jealous of you.
You're dealing with the problematics of being like king of the heap.
Andy, who did a unique thing, just, "I'm asexual, I'm just this, I'm just that.
" He looked so unusual, and would be so much of a standout, and clearly would be an outcast, had he not been bringing so much to the table.
You can connect with that as a person of color that had been made an outsider.
Andy was defying those, and you saw a path.
Basquiat was acutely aware of what the press wanted to do with him, and that the criticism was clearly rooted in racism.
Warhol was a PR genius.
What he perhaps did best in the world was strategize about how to interview and not interview.
I'm sure Basquiat looked to him to learn how to kind of work around the press.
Does it matter to you if people feel one way or another to you? You have a kind of reputation now, which is a little bit apart from what you really are.
Does it matter to you, that they feel one way rather than another about you? I don't really understand.
What do you mean? Is there any anger in you? Any anger in you Of course, there is.
Talk about that.
Tell me what the anger is.
What are you angry about? I don't remember.
Jean-Michel is so difficult.
You never know what kind of mood he'll be in.
What he'll be on.
He gets really paranoid and says, "You're just using me.
You're just using me.
" And then he'll get guilty for getting paranoid.
And he'll do everything so nice to try to make up for it.
But then I can't decide what he has fun doing either.
I don't know if it's because of the drugs, or because he hates crowds.
Or because he thinks it's boring.
And I tell him that, as he becomes more and more famous, he'll have to do more and more of these things.
One time, I went down to Crosby Street to check on him.
And he had been doing drugs and just was acting like he was dying, practically.
So, I went back up to Andy and said, "Andy, you have to help.
" Like, "I think something really bad is happening to him, you need to help," and Andy just said he just told me not to get involved.
Jean-Michel is really on heroin.
He was moving slow.
He and Paige had a big fight because they had a date for nine, and he didn't show up 'til one.
And Paige was crying, telling me to do something.
But what can you do? He got a hole in his nose, and he couldn't do coke anymore.
And he wanted to still be on something.
I guess he wants to be the youngest artist to go.
We cabbed to Julian Schnabel's on Park Avenue South.
We drank red wine.
It's the newest thing to drink red wine all through the meal.
It's such a camp when they do the tasting and the lip-smacking.
Julian has all his own art in the place, and he tells you about each one.
He stands there and reads into his own work.
I mean, he literally stands there and tells you what his paintings mean.
And this was the first time in a long time I wished I was tape-recording.
It's an idea about simultaneity of time.
If you have things from the 14th, 15th and 20th century The things that are psychological and have different religious implications The accumulative effect of this painting is something that one has to deal with experientially.
Julian has so much energy and balls.
He really does.
And I left there, convinced I should buy a Schnabel.
And then we went over to Clemente's.
And all through dinner they played Maria Callas records.
It was incredible.
And you could hear all the booing and clapping on the record.
And it was just like the '60s.
I could almost see Ondine whisking around in the shadows.
And the talk was all about art.
Julian was putting down de Kooning.
And I said, oh, no, that he was wrong, that de Kooning was a great painter.
And then finally Clemente said yes, that he really was.
Someone was saying that when all these dealers heard there was a really talented Black artist, who would probably die off soon from drugs, then they hurried to buy his things.
And now I guess they're frustrated, because he's staying alive.
I think Jean-Michel will be the most famous Black artist after this New York Times thing comes out.
"Someone was saying that when all these dealers heard that there was a really talented Black artist, who would probably die off soon from drugs, that they hurried to buy his things.
" Oh my God.
That is so cynical and probably true.
"Most young kings get their heads cut off" is a very clear nod to the fact that you can only ride these waves of success and power for so long.
Had dinner with Jean-Michel.
He brought a woman who was doing a cover article on him for the New York Times Magazine.
He's getting the cover.
Jean-Michel was on the cover of New York Times Magazine.
And Andy, yep, I saw him reading it.
He was just sitting there.
I have photographs of it.
And he's like really engaged in every single word.
And so, he felt sort of proud that It was this certain level of ego that he might have helped to be But truly Jean-Michel did it on his own.
So, his father Gerard decided to have a dinner with Jean-Michel.
And so, I went with Andy.
And it was a small dinner, maybe like six people, seven people.
Jean-Michel invited me to dinner with his father.
And his father was this thin, normal-looking man in a business suit.
So you can see where Jean-Michel gets his smartness.
I can just imagine, like, Andy Warhol at Jean-Michel Basquiat's father's house.
I can just see Basquiat's father, a nice middle-class man with a business, who's like, "Who the hell is this guy with the silver wig that my son is hanging out with?" I would love to have been sitting at that dinner.
We've been laughing about that for years.
But I would love to know how Andy presented himself to Basquiat's relatives.
What did they imagine this white man to be to Basquiat, you know? That's the fascinating question, I think.
Yeah, it must have been a really interesting dinner.
I knew about the collaboration taking place and it went on for a two-year period, it wasn't overnight.
The idea of showing and exhibiting this work became important, so, I was selected to be the one to do it.
The preparation for the show was enormous.
Even the concept of these things mainly because since I was 12 years old, I did some boxing, I remember going to the gym.
I remember a movie that Paul Newman did in 1956, it was called Somebody up there likes me.
And so, I wanted to put the exhibition to work in that context.
So that was the poster I designed.
Oh, it was a great poster.
And just like this photograph, it was both competition and camaraderie.
It was just a fun, cool, pop way to promote a show.
I'm a boxing fan.
So, that's how you'd get the word back in the day.
"There's a big fight coming up.
" Cabbed to Mr.
Chow's for Jean-Michel's party.
The Cristal was flowing.
Jean-Michel was the hostess with the mostest last night.
He said it cost him $12,000.
And it was great.
Being with a creative crowd, you really notice the difference.
I feel like I wasted two years running around with kids who talk about the baths and things.
When here, now, I'm going around with Jean-Michel, and we're getting so much artwork done.
Jean-Michel didn't show up for the workout because he was up all night.
He was in love that day, with Paige.
All these pretty girls go for him.
He came over to the office to paint.
But he fell asleep on the floor.
I woke him up, and then he did two masterpieces.
He wanted some philosophy, and we talked.
He's afraid he's just going to be a flash in the pan, and I told him not to worry, that he wouldn't be.
He's finding out, how you have to be a business.
How it all stops being just fun.
And then you wonder.
What is art? Does it really come out of you? Or is it a product? It's complicated.

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