Basquiat's visions of Mickey Mouse, capitalism on view at Norton Museum of Art

The most Florida artwork in Jean-Michel Basquiat’s new exhibit at the Norton Museum of Art may be "Untitled (Walt Disney)," an unsettling 1983 drawing featuring an armless Mickey Mouse hanging from a noose, the head of George Washington and references to “Superman.”

Anti-capitalist visions cover Basquiat’s oil-stick drawing, and the words “Invaders of Krypton” and “Jor-El” appear alongside images of temples, kerosene heaters and pigs. Capitalism, racial identity, class and urban street life are common themes in the paintings and drawings of Basquiat, the late art eccentric whose celebrity exploded in the 1980s, and they’re on view in the Norton Museum of Art’s “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Drawing Into Painting.”

The show, opening Thursday, Feb. 8, includes nine drawings and two paintings by the self-taught Brooklyn artist who learned his trade using sheets of paper that his father, an accountant, brought home from work. Andy Warhol’s portrait of Basquiat, his close friend in the 1980s, will accompany the works.

The Norton Museum of Art will screen three films tracing the artist’s career, with the Julian Schnabel-directed “Basquiat” on Feb. 15, Edo Bertoglio’s “Downtown 81” on Feb. 22 and the new documentary “Boom for Real – The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat” on March 15.

When: Thursday, Feb. 8, through March 18 (opening reception: 5-9 p.m. Feb. 8)

Where: Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach

­­­­­­­Cost: Free admission through December

Contact: 561-832-5196 or or 954-356-4364

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