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Jean – Michel Basquiat

Jean – Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn in 1960 to a Puerto Rican mother and a Haitian father in 1960.

He soon became a popular avant-garde painter and pioneer of the underground movement.

His mother, attracted by the artistic world, frequently brings her to visit New York museums in order to push her talent and interest.

The young Basquiat is a drawing enthusiast.  There are many notebooks filled with sketches based on the illustrations of the dictionary. He continues to draw throughout his childhood, illustrating at the school children's books, and in his spare time, performing drawings inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's films, comics or automobiles. The graffiteur is also an avid reader. 

From 1974 to 1976, the Basquiat family lives in Puerto Rico for professional reasons.  Back in New York in 1976, he was enrolled in a school for talented young people and met a character who would become his great friend and companion Graffiteur, Al Diaz.

It is in 1977 that Basquiat begins to sign his graffiti SAMO (or same old crap), meaning in French literally "same old poop" or more properly said "nothing new".

1978 signs The emancipation of the artist. He leaves the family nest and decides to live alone. He maintains his livelihood by selling T-shirts and postcards on the street. It was during this period that he sold one of his postcards to Andy Warhol, which was a determining factor in his life.

Between 1980 and 1982, the artist demonstrates his obsession with the death of Man by painting, most of the time on canvas, representations of skeletal silhouettes as well as faces resembling masks. 

Also, he paints inspired by what he sees on the street: children, cars, graffiti, poverty,

His work consists mainly of paintings on multiple panels, full of overlays of elements, ranging from writing to collage, for example.

If Basquiat admitted to having drawn his influence in the work of Dali, Picasso, Goya or Warhol, his achievements have nothing to envy to those of his predecessors. He himself has become one of the most fascinating and intriguing characters in the history of art and will always continue to enchant and inspire artists to come.

Graffiteur to the striking and original style and then virtuoso painter his work points to a peculiar nervousness and violence, very representative characteristics of the character he was. 

He died in 1988 after an overdose