Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat shared one of the most well-documented artist friendships of the 20th century. A new book Warhol on Basquiat: The Iconic Relationship Told in Andy Warhol’s Words and Pictures (2019), published by Taschen, documents their friendship through Warhol’s personal photographs and recollections from his diaries. Warhol took thousands of photographs on his 35mm camera, and while only a fraction of his photographs were printed in his lifetime, the Andy Warhol Foundation donated 130,000 negatives to Stanford University, who have since digitized the collection.
Friday November 2, 1984: ‘Worked till 7:00. Then there was an opening of Schnabel. So went to it. I was putting his painting down, being funny, and then I saw he was next to me but I don’t think he heard me. There were a lot of plates on the wall. Schnabel said that he was a short-order cook at Mickey Ruskin’s restaurant on University Place for a while.’
Thursday April 12, 1984: ‘Jean Michel came by. He’d been out all night. Got him to work on one of our joint paintings. He wanted spaghetti so we got some from La Colonna.’
Thursday May 3, 1984: ‘Jean Michel called and wanted us to come down to the Mary Boone Gallery to look at his show, so I said we would. So I took Jay and Benjamin and it looked great. Jean Michel was very nervous.’
Monday August 15, 1983: ‘Cabbed to meet Jean Michel Basquiat at the workout with Lidija, he was doing it with us. He’s in love with Paige Powell’
Monday April 16, 1984: ‘Jean Michel was at the office, he brought his lunch and he was on the floor painting and not talking much. I think he stays up all night and so that was his bedtime.’
Thursday September 19, 1985: ‘Jean Michel picked me up in a limo and we went to Rockefeller Center to a party that this Steven Greenberg guy was giving in his office which is two floors above the Rainbow Room. Two terraces, and the art was worth around $10 million.’
Thursday May 3, 1984: ‘It was beautiful and sunny, did a lot of work. Called Jean Michel and he said he’d come up. He came and rolled some joints. He was really nervous, I could tell, about his show opening later on at Mary Boone’s. Then he wanted a new outfit and we went to this store where he always buys his clothes.’