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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Stephan James to Star as Jean-Michel Basquiat in Upcoming Limited Series

'To embody such a revolutionary will simply be one of the greatest honors of my career,' James said.

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 Stephan James attends the 4th Annual B.L.A.C.K Ball during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival on September 09, 2019 in Toronto, Canada
Stephan James attends the 4th Annual B.L.A.C.K Ball during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival on September 09, 2019 in Toronto, Canada
Photo: Tommaso Boddi (Getty Images)

The life and legacy of acclaimed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat will be coming to a small screen near us soon.

On Thursday, it was revealed that 21 Bridges and If Beale Street Could Talk star Stephan James would portray the renowned figure in an upcoming limited series co-produced by Boat Rocker Studios and James’ and his brother Shamier Anderson’s production banner, Bay Mills Studios.

Per Variety, the untitled project is set to center around “the rise of Basquiat, from an obscure graffiti artist to a Neo-expressionist painter of rockstar status.” It will also detail his friendship with fellow influential artist Andy Warhol as well as his tragic and untimely death in 1988.

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“I am thrilled to partner with Boat Rocker to bring to life the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” James said in a statement. “Jean-Michel is an artist I have long revered, and someone who has greatly influenced my work over the years. To embody such a revolutionary, whose influence in the modern era of pop culture is simply immeasurable, will simply be one of the greatest honors of my career.”

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Added President of Scripted for Boat Rocker Studios Steve Lescroart, “We’re grateful to be working with Shamier, Stephan, and the entire Bay Mills Studios team to tell the story of a visionary artist whose profound cultural influence only continues to grow with time. We know that audiences around the world will be captivated.”

The life and work of Basquait seem to be having a moment as of late. Pose star Jeremy Pope is currently portraying him at in a new play, The Collaboration, at the Young Vic theatre in London. And just last month, we told you that Cyrano and The Photograph star Kelvin Harrison Jr. would be showing us his interpretation of the artist in a forthcoming biopic, Samo Lives.

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And if you needed more proof, earlier this month, the Orlando Museum of Art debuted a brand new Heroes and Monsters exhibition featuring over 20 rare Basquiat works. The paintings were said to be “created in 1982 while the artist was living temporarily in Los Angeles” and “is considered by many to be Basquiat’s best period in his short career.”

For more information and to view the exhibition, feel free to visit omart.org.