Basquiat exhibit opens at PAMM

On Thursday night the Perez Art Museum Miami celebrated the opening of "Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks."

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died 28 years ago Aug. 12 at age 27, garnered the attention of the world in the ‘80s for his gritty graffiti style paintings and his ability to experiment with style and expression.

The exhibition, open now and running through Oct. 16, is a look into the artist's personal observations on life, culture, race, class and world history through text. The collection features 160 pages of Basquiat’s notebooks, as well as some of his popular large-scale works, such as his identifying crown and collaboration pieces with friend and artist Andy Warhol.

The celebration also featured a performance on the terrace by the Tradisyon Lakou Lakay dance ensemble in honor of the Haitian/Puerto Rican artist's cultural roots. DJ Gardy played rhythmic roots music of Haiti, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean as guests erupted into dance with maracas.

PAMM assistant curator Maria Elena Ortiz, who helped organize the presentation of the show, said Miamians identify with the artist because of the city’s cultural ties to the Caribbean region.

She encourages art lovers to visit the exhibit and explore Basquiat’s work on a deeper level.

“Every Miamian has a little bit of Basquiat in them. He was able to negotiate that hybridity that I think is embedded in all Miamians -- to create your own visual language.”

“Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” is on display through Oct. 16 at Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd. Hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. Closed Wednesdays. Admission $16 adults, $12 seniors, students and children 7 to 18. Info: