Orlando Museum of Art Unveils Lost Basquiat Paintings

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The works of one of pop culture’s most renowned artists are on display and attract viewers from around the world. The Heroes and Monsters exhibit officially kicked off with a party Friday night at the Orlando Museum of Art. The exhibition features a group of 25 paintings from a private collection of world renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The 25 paintings have never been unveiled to the public, but Central Floridians will be the first in the world to see them up close and personal starting this weekend. “They were discovered in a storage locker in late 2012 belonging to Thaddeus Mumford, Jr., an African-American television writer,” said OMA Director and CEO Aaron De Groft. Groft discovered the 1982 cardboard paintings while he was putting out calls for another project. “They are a collection. There are no other Basquiat collections,” Groft said. “These are 25 paintings painted for one purpose and they are all autobiographical.” The paintings depict social issues like racism, poverty, prostitution and drugs. “He had it all because Basquiat is the hero and the monster is life,” Groft said. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to stop by the OMA for the exhibition’s opening weekend. Groft called it an already record event in the history of the museum. “I think people are craving that right now. They just want to hang out. They want to see things,” Groft said. “And when it comes to the hottest artist on the planet, not many people can say that.” Basquiat died at the age of 27 from an overdose. His paintings will be exhibited in Orlando until June 30. They will go to Italy afterwards.

Works of art by one of pop culture’s most renowned artists are on display and attract viewers from around the world.

The Heroes and Monsters exhibit officially kicked off with a party Friday night at the Orlando Museum of Art. The exhibition features a group of 25 paintings from a private collection of world renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The 25 paintings have never been unveiled to the public, but Central Floridians will be the first in the world to see them up close and personal starting this weekend.

“They were discovered in a storage locker in late 2012 belonging to Thaddeus Mumford, Jr., an African-American television writer,” said OMA Director and CEO Aaron De Groft.

Groft discovered the 1982 cardboard paintings while he was putting out calls for another project.

It’s a collection. There are no other Basquiat collections,” Groft said. These are 25 paintings painted for one purpose and they are all autobiographical.”

The paintings depict social issues like racism, poverty, prostitution and drugs.

“He had it all because Basquiat is the hero and the monster is life,” Groft said.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to stop by the OMA for the exhibition’s opening weekend. Groft called it an already record event in the history of the museum.

“I think people are craving that right now. They just want to hang out. They want to see things,” Groft said. “And when it comes to the sexiest entertainer on the planet, not many people can say that.”

Basquiat died at the ripe old age of 27 from an overdose.

His paintings will be exhibited in Orlando until June 30. They will then go to Italy.

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