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Jean Michel Basquiat Biography

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American artist Jean Michel Basquiat Jean Michel Basquiat

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"I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist, or I'd draw a ram's head, really messy. I'd never win painting contests. I remember losing to a guy who did a perfect spiderman."
Jean Michel Basquiat


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Jean Michel Basquiat life
Artist biography on the American expressionist painter Jean Michel Basquiat
born Jean Michel Basquiat - New York, USA - 22nd of December, 1960 / Died - 12th of August, 1988 - USA
Popular Jean Michel Basquiat works include graffiti influenced naive, expressionist paintings, often including text and images from popular culture. Many paintings were also painted on found objects, old boards, and furniture.


"Jean Michel Basquiat Biography"


Jean Michel Basquiat Facts
Born as: "Jean Michel Basquiat"
Basquiat was born on: 22nd of December, 1960
Born at: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Basquiat Died: 12th of August, 1988


Jean-Michel Basquiat was a famous graffiti artist in New York during the late 20th century. He is best known for his collaboration with another artist, Al Diaz, and his character Samo who sold fake religion.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960 in Brooklyn, NY to Gerard, a native Haitian, and Matilde Basquiat, a Puetro Rican. His mother encouraged Basquiat's artistic interests at an early age, taking him on regular trips to local art museums in New York including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA).

Basquiat began rebelling against school at an early age. Many believe that his intellectual pursuits of the arts made him feel above the system. Basquiat continued to rebel against discipline and left the public school system at the age of 17 in 1978. At the same time he also left home to dedicate his life to social and political commentary through his art. He and fellow classmate and friend, Al Diaz began a graffiti campaign in lower Manhattan. It was during this time that Basquiat began using the image of a character named Samo, short for "same ol' shit."

Instead of focusing on visual arts like most graffiti artists, Jean Michel Basquiat mixed poetic social dialog into his artwork. Although his public art remained anonymous for some time, it began to attract attention from members of the community and Basquait began selling some of his artwork on street corners and at clubs, later selling work directly to MOMA.

In 1980, after a disagreement with Diaz, Basquait killed Samo, his alter ego. International art dealers began to take notice and started featuring his work in shows throughout the world. In the spring of 1981, a SoHo art dealer by the name of Annina Nosei gave Basquait basement space to do his work, often selling pieces before they were finished.

Basquait began purchasing expensive suits and hosting elaborate dinners, building an extravagant lifestyle around the pursuit of fame. For a brief period Basquait befriended Andy Warhol and followed him both artistically and socially. But after 1985, Basquait's work suffered and he blamed it on his association with the artist. It took two years before Basquait wanted to show his work again.

By 1984, many of Basquait's friends were concerned about his excessive drug use and his change of subjects within his art. On August 12, 1988 Jean Michel Basquiat overdosed on a combination of heroin and cocaine and died. His life was potrayed in the film Basquait released after his death.



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