Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Yutaka Sakano in Tokyo for Issey Miyake in 1983.
Yutaka Sakano: “One day in July 1983, I received a phone call from Midori Kitamura, Issey Miyake’s assistant who was in charge of press relations at the time. She tells me that a young artist named Basquiat, who has become a sensation in New York, was coming to Japan, and she asked me if I could photograph him for a men’s fashion magazine. I immediately reserve studio # 8 in the basement of Studio Azabu, which no longer exists today. The day of the shooting, I loaded in my car a hand made backdrop and went to the rendezvous in a good mood. This is the first time I met Basquiat. I did not know anything about him. He looks like a wonderful young man. He takes the initiative during the shooting, improvising all kinds of poses. It is also the first time he meets me, and we did not speak each other language, having to opt instead for hand gestures communication. He did his best to comply with the guidelines given by the Japanese photographer that I am. Even though the photos are for color publication, I always take black and white photos for my own use. And if I find the subject particularly interesting, all the shooting is also done in B&W.”