BASQUIAT
BASQUIAT
BASQUIAT
BASQUIAT

BASQUIAT

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an influential African-American artist known for his raw gestural style of painting with graffiti-like images and scrawled text. Basquiat’s paintings are largely responsible for elevating street-style artists into the realm of the New York gallery scene. He first attracted attention for his graffiti under the name “SAMO” in New York City. In 1981, he killed off this alter ego and began painting and drawing, first on salvaged materials then later on canvas and paper, and making bricolage with materials scavenged from the urban environment. His street art and Neo-Expressionist works on canvas and paper as well as on random objects and surfaces are characterized by visually striking and psychologically powerful combinations of anatomical diagrams, charged words and cryptic phrases, numerals, pictograms, commercial graphic art, allusions to African history and African-American pop culture, as well as stick figures and maps. In the mid-1980s, the artist collaborated on several works with the most famous artist of the time, Andy Warhol.