Jean-Michel Basquiat

(1960 - 1988)

About The Artist


Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) showed at an early age that he had a natural skill for art. As a teenager he spray-painted buildings, tagged walls with the moniker “SAMO,” and appropriated and reworked television characters, comic book icons, and commercial slogans. In a show in 1981 he had his first big break–his paintings immediately sold out. Basquiat’s raw style and references to books, politics, and cultural icons lent to creations which mocked mass-production and poked fun at the ironies found in human relations. From 1984–1986 Basquiat collaborated with Andy Warhol, both socially and artistically. Basquiat’s rapid rise to fame and celebrity status made him the poster boy of 1980s Neo-Expressionism. His career was short, barely a decade long. He died of a drug overdose in 1988 when he was 27 years old.

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