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, tagging walls with “SAMO” and reusing television characters, comic book icons, and commercial slogans. In a show in 1981 he had his first big break, selling his paintings instantaneously. Basquiat’s raw style and references to books, politics and cultural icons created works that mocked mass-production and poked at the ironies of human relationships. From 1984-1986 Basquiat collaborated with Andy Warhol, following him socially and artistically. Basquiat’s rapid rise to fame and celebrity relations made him the poster boy of 1980s Neo-expressionism, and eventually led to his death when he overdosed on drugs in 1988; he was 27 years old.