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In the 1980s, Romare Bearden and Jean-Michel Basquiat inhabited entirely different worlds. Romare Bearden spent much of his time in his Long Island City studio. Becoming increasingly weak from bone cancer, he was intent upon completing his life’s work. Bearden’s later life was a far remove from the hedonistic downtown NYC scene in which Jean-Michel Basquiat both meteorically rose and plunged. However, because Basquiat had been attracting attention and support from well-known SoHo art figures such as Andy Warhol and gallerists Annina Nosei and Mary Boone for about five years before his national recognition (as the subject of the February 10, 1985 New York Times magazine's cover story), it is quite possible that Bearden had heard about Basquiat. Bearden most certainly was aware of Basquiat between 1985 and 1988, the year that both artists died. …
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