Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a self-taught neo-expressionist painter who rose to prominence during the 1980s art boom in New York. The artist was born in Brooklyn in 1960, and during the late 1970s he began to make graffiti as well as small works on paper. In 1976, Basquiat met Andy Warhol, who was instrumental in exposing the younger artist’s work to curators, dealers, and critics. This allowed Basquiat to create the large-scale works on canvas—featuring abstract, figurative, and textual elements—for which he is best known. In 1980, he was included in the seminal “Times Square Show” and in 1981, the poet René Ricard wrote about his work in Artforum magazine. The artist exhibited widely and to great acclaim until his untimely death in 1988. Since then, his work was been celebrated with retrospective exhibitions at venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Menil Collection, Houston; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In 1996, Basquiat’s life and work were commemorated in the eponymous film directed by his friend and fellow artist Julian Schnabel.

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