In the summer of 1980, 20-year-old Basquiat showed his work publicly for the first time at The Times Square Show , a group exhibition initiated by artists’ collective COLAB (Collaborative Projects Inc.).
“More than 100 young artists are fully experimenting and resisting the established, artistic environment with punk-like rebellion. The show is open 24 hours a day and takes place in an empty six-story brothel on Times Square. There is an extensive evening program with so-called Exotic Events . There is also a souvenir shop where works by participating artists are sold in print runs. What is special and innovative about the art in The Times Square Show is that boundaries between ‘high’ art and popular culture are being broken. New forms of expression such as fashion, video and performance art are embraced and the street art hitherto underground is shown above ground. Engaged themes around politics, sexuality and multiculturalism are also explicitly present.”
More than 50 original works from The Times Square Show are shown here, including Charlie Ahearn, John Ahearn, Jean-Michel Basquiat (who then participated under the name SAMO ©), Andrea Callard, Eva DeCarlo, Jane Dickson, Stefan Eins, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Bobby G., Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Becky Howland, Peggy Lynn, Alan Moore, Tom Otterness, Cara Perlman, Christy Rupp, Jane Sherry, Kiki Smith and Robin Winters.