The Artist.

DECEMBER 22, 1960 – AUGUST 12, 1988

Jean Michel Basquiat
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JEAN BEGAN HIS CAREER AS PART OF SAMO, AN INFORMAL GRAFFITI DUO WHO WROTE ENIGMATIC EPIGRAMS IN THE CULTURAL AREA WITHIN THE LOWER EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN. THE ERA OF THE LATE 1970S WAS DOMINATED BY HIP-HOP, PUNK, AND STREET ART MOVEMENTS. BY THE 1980S, HE WAS EXHIBITING HIS NEO-EXPRESSIVE PAINTINGS IN GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS INTERNATIONALLY. 

BASQUIAT'S ART FOCUSED ON "SUGGESTIVE DICHOTOMIES", SUCH AS WEALTH VERSUS POVERTY, INTEGRATION VERSUS SEGREGATION, MESHED WITH AN OUTER EXPERIENCE. JEAN WAS KEEN WITHIN IMPLEMENTING TECHNIQUES OF APPROPRIATED POETRY, DRAWING, AND PAINTING, FOLLOWED BY MARRIED TEXT, IMAGRY, ABSTRACTION, FIGURATION, AND HISTORICAL INFORMATION MIXED WITH CONTEMPORARY CRITIQUE. BASQUIAT USED SOCIAL COMMENTARY IN HIS PAINTINGS AS A "SPRINGBOARD TO DEEPER TRUTHS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL", AS WELL AS ATTACKS ON POWER STRUCTURES AND SYSTEMS OF RACISM, WHILE HIS POETICS WERE ACUTELY POLITICAL AND DIRECT IN THEIR CRITICISM OF COLONIALISM AND SUPPORT FOR CLASS STRUGGLE.

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JEAN TRAGICALLY DIED AT THE AGE OF 27 DUE TO A HEROIN OVERDOSE WITHIN HIS ART STUDIO.
ON MAY 18, 2017, AT A SOTHEBY'S AUCTION, BASQUIAT'S 1982 PAINTING, ALSO UNTITLED, CREATED WITH OIL STICK AND SPRAY PAINT AND DEPICTING A SKULL. JEAN'S WORK SET A NEW RECORD HIGH FOR ANY U.S. ARTIST AT  AN AUCTION, SELLING FOR $110,500,000.

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Tamara JacksonComment