Jean -Michel Basquiat
USA, 1960
USA, 1988
Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in a middle-class family of Caribbean origin. In 1977 he began to draw graffiti with satiric messages in the streets of Manhattan, signing them "SAMO" (same old shit). A year later he became independent and settled in the centre of Manhattan, living with musicians and artists, among whom he met Keith Haring. He made a living by drawing on pieces of cardboard and T-shirts which he sold in fashionable bars and restaurants, which is how he met Andy Warhol. After an article in The Village Voice, his graffiti began to arouse interest in the New York art world and in 1980 he had his first exhibition at a gallery. He then gave up graffiti and concentrated on painting. Parallel to the spectacular renaissance of painting in the eighties, from 1982 Basquiat started along the road to success: his individual and group exhibitions proliferated, he took part in “Documenta” in Kassel and the Biennial at the Whitney Museum in New York and began an intense association with Andy Warhol. However, that climb to success was accompanied by an addiction to heroin, which led to his death in 1988. In just nine years, Jean-Michel Basquiat had a brief but highly productive career.
David. G Torres