Jean Michel Basquiat was an American artist. He began his career as a graffiti artist and quickly evolved into a renown neo-expressionist. The focus of his art was on ‘dichotomies’, such as the rich vs. the poor.
Teachers noticed Basquiats unique artistic abilities around the age of 7. Four years later, he taught himself to speak Spanish and French. His gifts didn’t mask him from the troubles he would face in life. By 15 he ran away from home, dropped out of school, and was sleeping on park benches.
He got his first feature in The Village Voice (once a renowned publication) for his graffiti.
He later rose to recognition on the Times Square Show and Blondie’s video “Rapture.” Basquiat really hit it big when he was written up in ArtForum in an article called “Radiant Child.”
The galleries came calling, and his art was featured in Gagosian Gallery in West Hollywood at the same time that David Bowie came along to work with the artist.
From 1983-1985, Basquiat worked directly with Andy Warhol.
The true beauty of his art was how he styled himself. He would wear Armani suits to paint his creations, and make public appearances in those same looks. It was a true illustration of the dichotomies he was highlighting in his work. Although he lived a full life, he died at 27 from a drug overdose after spending time in isolation after the death of Warhol.