A New Yorker through-and-through, the great American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn in 1960, and he lived all of his too-brief 27 years in the city he loved. The last five years were spent here, at 57 Great Jones Street.
Basquiat forged an innovative artistic language that melded his urban American experience with his African-Caribbean heritage. At the height of his career in the 1980s, the painter, collagist and musician lived and worked in this NoHo loft studio, and his connection to the City was integral to his work. In these, his later years, he collaborated with Andy Warhol on a number of projects, and it was Warhol who provided this NoHo studio for Basquiat, having bought the old carriage house in 1974 as a place for his Factory Films.
Basquiat was plagued by a heroin addition, and it was also here at #57 that he died of an overdose on August 12, 1988. Like so many other greats who died tragically premature, he was only 27.
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and Two Boots Foundation have recognized the importance of the old carriage house as an incubator for Basquiat’s art and creativity, and have installed this plaque in commemoration. The unveiling ceremony on July 13, 2016 drew hundreds of celebrants, many who were part of those formative years of New York City in the go-go ‘80s.
Know Before You Go
Great Jones Street is two blocks of what otherwise is East 3rd Street in the East Village/NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. #57 is on the south side of the street, between Lafayette Street and Bowery.