Your search for art, design, antiques and collectables starts here

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) USA

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born December 22, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. Basquiat had Haitian roots and he became one of the first famous artists from that country accepted in the American art scene. He was primarily a Neo-expressionist and graffiti artist.
He left home as a teenager and lived on the streets of New York. Inspired by African American culture, he supported himself by selling T-shirts and postcards he had painted.
The art world changed course in the early 1980s. Before, art was a way for members of white society to display their wealth. But suddenly, it was trendy among ordinary people. Before long, everyone wanted to attend exhibits, keep up on the happenings of the art world, and above all, to buy art themselves. People lined up to buy work from artists, which put greater demand on artists to be productive in order to satisfy customers. Basquiat objected to this development; he felt that art had become a trendy commodity rather than a means of personal expression for artists.
Under the pseudonym SAMO, he and Al Diaz began painting graffiti outdoors. This stamped him as a black “ghetto” artist, and he was never seen as equal to his white counterparts. Racial discrimination is a recurring theme in his artwork.
He met Andy Warhol through Paige Powell, art director of Interview magazine. Basquiat and Warhol had long run in the same circle, but they had never worked together. Warhol became a father figure to Basquiat and they made several paintings together. Unfortunately, critics were not particularly fond of their work; they felt that Basquiat had lost his touch and that Warhol was riding the coattails of Basquiat’s success. As a result, Basquiat and Warhol went their separate ways. Andy Warhol died shortly thereafter, which was hard on Basquiat; he descended deeper and deeper into drug addiction. The next year, 1988, Jean-Michel Basquiat died of an overdose.


Articles related to Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) USA

Basquiat, the radiant child

Despite a career that lasted only a decade, Jean Michel Basquiat succeeded in influencing the American art scene in a way that few others managed to do. His powerful forms of expression, full of symbolism, texts and stick figures whose critical motives were directed against the commercialization and racist structures of America in the 1980's are as relevant today as when Basquiat was at the peak of his career.

Art

Basquiat's Boom for Real: Top 5 works by Jean-Michel Basquiat ever sold at auction

Basquiat is hotter than ever. Auction houses and dealers are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the artist's colour-laden canvases. The incredible surge in the popularity of the Brooklyn-born artist is thanks to the Barbican's retrospective which is partly responsible for introducing his work to global buyers who want to get serious when it comes to starting their collection.

Painting