Downtown 81

Watch List: Artist Proof


Film Info
Country Listing:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Edo Bertoglio


In 1980, writer and Warhol associate Glenn O’Brien, Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, a graffiti innovator and noise music artist who’d just begun to exhibit his paintings, hit the streets of lower Manhattan to make a movie about the bombed-out bohemia they lived and breathed. Left unfinished due to assorted legal and financial issues until it was fully assembled for release in 2000, Downtown 81 follows Basquiat, a naturally compelling screen presence, as he tries to hawk one of his own paintings while hustling for a place to sleep. What was meant to be a document of its time instead became a window into a long-lost world of life on the margins and the creative ferment of the New York art scene. Featuring appearances by John Lurie, Fab 5 Freddy and Debbie Harry, and the thrilling music of the era, this is an electrifying portrait of a more innocent Manhattan in all its mangy glory.

Tickets: $15 (Members from $10)

Want to learn more about the early, rough and tumble days of some of the most iconic artists and game changers of the 20th century? Look no further than Watch List: Artist Proof, an exploration of the Art Life-young artists finding their creative voices while struggling to make it.

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