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Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Life Is Vividly Explored In New Graphic Novel By Paolo Parisi

Take an intense journey through the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat in a detailed graphic novel by Paolo Parisi.

Book cover from Paolo Parisi, “In Basquiat: A Graphic Novel.” Courtesy of

In May, Italian illustrator Paolo Parisi released his latest, Basquiat: A Graphic Novel, which is a detailed exploration of the renowned artist’s life through vivid and colorful graphics. The book takes readers on a journey in reverse, beginning with Basquiat’s tragic death, and concluding with the start of his life.  

All throughout the graphic novel, you will notice that the palette is limited to primary colors and green, which were the hues that caught Parisi’s attention the most in Basquiat’s earliest works. The vividness of the palette is also an ode to the fierceness of Basquiat’s life. “Basquiat was a punk artist whose story is about breaking the canon of the creative process of art,” Parisi said. “His life was very short but lived intensely.”

Illustrations from Paolo Parisi, “In Basquiat: A Graphic Novel.” Courtesy of

Below, read the book’s official synopsis:

Cool, talented, and transgressive, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s life is just as fascinating as the work he produced. Delve into 1980s New York as this vivid graphic novel takes you on Basquiat’s journey from street-art legend SAMO to international art-scene darling, up until his sudden death. Told through cinematic scenes, this is Basquiat as seen through the eyes of those who knew him, including his father, Suzanne Mallouk, Larry Gagosian, and, most importantly, the man himself. Basquiat is a moving depiction of a troubled artist’s life for those interested in both the art and the man who made it.”

Illustrations from Paolo Parisi, “In Basquiat: A Graphic Novel.” Courtesy of

To purchase your very own hardcopy of the 128-page graphic novel, please click here to be directed to Amazon. While Basquiat marks the first visual artist from Parisi’s collection of work, he has previously illustrated the stories of musicians such as Billie Holiday and John Coltrane, both of which you can find here.  


Ayanna Nicole

Hi! I’m Ayanna, a 28-year-old writer and artist. Although I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with two degrees in art and psychology, I’ve had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. By following my dreams and utilizing my creativity, I designed Jaro Magazine with the ultimate intention of bringing more positive stories in the black community to the forefront, while also highlighting our versatile and vibrant culture through Jaro’s four modes: film, books, art, and music. I’m into spirituality, nature walks, music festivals, poetry, traveling without a destination in mind, painting, and discussing everything out of the ordinary with other curious minds.

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