Jean-Michel Basquiat
Artist
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist. He began as a literal graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s and evolved into an acclaimed Neo-expressionist and Primitivist painter by the 1980s. Throughout his career Basquiat focused on "suggestive dichotomies," such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience.
Biography
Jean-Michel Basquiat's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Jean-Michel Basquiat
Show More Show Less
News
News abour Jean-Michel Basquiat from around the web
Subscribe to our RSS feed: - Artnet
Google News - over 5 years
Walk-ons by artists like Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, for example, are downright peculiar and even distasteful, partly for the way Blow exploits their marquee status to assure us how fabulous a couple he made with Issie
Article Link:
Google News article
TLA closes; film buffs lament - Newsworks.org
Google News - over 5 years
At TLA, Jay discovered documentaries about Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Frank Gehry, and counts Blue Velvet and Harold and Maude as perennial favorites. She will miss having a brick-and-mortar store in the neighborhood, but will not seek out another
Article Link:
Google News article
FEATURE SWIZZ BEATZ - Haute Living
Google News - over 5 years
As an avid collector of paintings and an artist himself, he counts Salvador Dali, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and especially Jean-Michel Basquiat as some of his favorites. “My love for the art world goes deep, very deep,” he said
Article Link:
Google News article
New York's De Santos Converts to IPad Run Business - Haute Living
Google News - over 5 years
Once frequented by the likes of Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Edward Albee and Jean Michel Basquiat, the spot is a rustic haven for the creative type, bearing a lot of history. The use of the iPad has transported the West Village veteran to high-tech dining
Article Link:
Google News article
The first restaurant to rely completely on iPads in New York City - The Next Web
Google News - over 5 years
In New York City's West Village, De Santos, a high-end Italian restaurant inhabits a unique space that was once home to legendary New York rockers, writers, and artists such as Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Edward Albee and Jean Michel Basquiat
Article Link:
Google News article
36 HOURS; Marseille
NYTimes - over 5 years
FIRST the bad news: Marseille is not Paris. Unlike its culture-rich rival, France's second-largest city has no world-class museums, must-see monuments or internationally renowned chefs. Now the good news: Marseille is not Paris. Kissed by the Mediterranean, Marseille can claim an un-Parisian combination of near-constant sun, miles of beaches and an
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Mr Chow: interview - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Andy [Warhol] started coming in with Julian [Schnabel], Jean-Michel [Basquiat], his girlfriend Madonna and Keith [Haring].” It's to his credit that Chow hasn't been tempted to rewrite history with the luxury of hindsight. He didn't, for example,
Article Link:
Google News article
Corcoran Presents 30 Americans - PR Newswire (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
Artists in 30 Americans include Nina Chanel Abney, John Bankston, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Bradford, iona rozeal brown, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Noah Davis, Leonardo Drew, Renée Green, David Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Rashid Johnson,
Article Link:
Google News article
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; Mastering Self-Invention Then and Now
NYTimes - over 5 years
In the pseudodocumentary ''Downtown 81,'' Jean-Michel Basquiat is captured living out a day in the life of a downtown New York artist: heavy on hard luck, hoping someone will buy a painting of his to keep him afloat, but rich in friends and immersed in a circle full of musicians, artists, beautiful women and more. If someone filmed a version of
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Visitors on Vespas take graffiti art tour in Miami - eTaiwan News
Google News - over 5 years
Some predict that may change, and that the Miami graffiti community may eventually find fame and profit in their designs, the way artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat did in New York several decades ago. "That generation is going to bring
Article Link:
Google News article
LA 'Street Art' in South Central at Manual Arts High - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
After doing projects on Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbra Kruger, and Andy Warhol, they're very much aware of the historical precedents in this town. So three-quarters through the year, we worked with LA Free Walls' Daniel Lahota,
Article Link:
Google News article
Visitors on Vespas take graffiti art tour in Miami - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Google News - over 5 years
Some predict that may change, and that the Miami graffiti community may eventually find fame and profit in their designs, the way artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat did in New York several decades ago. "That generation is going to bring
Article Link:
Google News article
STREETSCAPES | BROOKLYN; Curtains? Maybe Not
NYTimes - over 5 years
IT'S not really a race, but more of a question: will a sale come soon enough to save Brooklyn's Weir-McGovern Greenhouse -- or will it fall down first? This lacy iron spider web, across from the 25th Street entrance of Green-Wood Cemetery, is the small, private counterpart to the great conservatories in Brooklyn and the Bronx. But the flower
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Remembering Artist Cy Twombly - Gothamist
Google News - over 5 years
Twombly's paintings resembled "spare childlike scribbles," oftentimes incorporating graffiti and calligraphy, which would later inspire artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat. "Twombly is the thinking person's Banksy," declared one critic recently, ... - -
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jean-Michel Basquiat
    TWENTIES
  • 1988
    Age 27
    Basquiat was interred in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, where Jeffrey Deitch made a speech at the graveside. Among those speaking at Basquiat’s memorial held at Saint Peter's Church on November 3, 1988, were Ingrid Sischy who, as the editor of Artforum in the 1980s, got to know the artist well and commissioned a number of articles that introduced his work to the wider world.; Suzanne Mallouk recited sections of A. R. Penck's Poem for Basquiat and Fab 5 Freddy read a poem by Langston Hughes.
    More Details Hide Details The 300 guests included the musicians John Lurie and Arto Lindsay; the artist Keith Haring; the poet David Shapiro; Glenn O'Brien, a writer; Fab 5 Freddy and members of the band Gray, which Basquiat led in the late 1970s. In memory of the late artist, Keith Haring created Pile of Crowns for Jean-Michel Basquiat (1988). In 1991, poet Kevin Young produced a book, To Repel Ghosts, a compendium of 117 poems relating to Basquiat's life, individual paintings, and social themes found in the artist's work. He published a "remix" of the book in 2005. In 1995, writer, Jennifer Clement, wrote the book, Widow Basquiat, based on the stories told to her by Suzanne Mallouk. In 2005, poet M. K. Asante published the poem "SAMO," dedicated to Basquiat, in his book Beautiful. And Ugly Too.
  • 1987
    Age 26
    When Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987, Basquiat became increasingly isolated, and his heroin addiction and depression grew more severe.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1985
    Age 24
    On February 10, 1985, he appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in a feature titled "New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist".
    More Details Hide Details He was a successful artist in this period, but his growing heroin addiction began to interfere with his personal relationships.
  • 1983
    Age 22
    According to Andrea Frohne, Basquiat's 1983 painting Untitled (History of the Black People) "reclaims Egyptians as African and subverts the concept of ancient Egypt as the cradle of Western Civilization".
    More Details Hide Details At the center of the painting, Basquiat depicts an Egyptian boat being guided down the Nile River by Osiris, the Egyptian god of the earth and vegetation. On the right panel of the painting appear the words "Esclave, Slave, Esclave". Two letters of the word "Nile" are crossed out and Frohne suggests that, "The letters that are wiped out and scribbled over perhaps reflect the acts of historians who have conveniently forgotten that Egyptians were black and blacks were enslaved." On the left panel of the painting Basquiat has illustrated two Nubian-style masks. Throughout the rest of the painting, images of the Atlantic slave trade are juxtaposed with images of the Egyptian slave trade centuries before. The sickle in the center panel is a direct reference to the slave trade in the United States, and slave labor under the plantation system. The word "salt" that appears on the right panel of the work refers to the Atlantic slave trade, as salt was another important commodity traded at that time.
    At the suggestion of Swiss dealer Bruno Bischofberger, Warhol and Basquiat worked on a series of collaborative paintings between 1983 and 1985.
    More Details Hide Details In the case of Olympic Rings (1985), Warhol made several variations of the Olympic five-ring symbol, rendered in the original primary colors. Basquiat responded to the abstract, stylized logos with his oppositional graffiti style. Basquiat often painted in expensive Armani suits and would even appear in public in the same paint-splattered clothes. In May 2016, Basquiat's Untitled had a record breaking sale at Christie's selling at auction for $57,285,000. Fred Hoffman hypothesizes that underlying Basquiat’s sense of himself as an artist was his "innate capacity to function as something like an oracle, distilling his perceptions of the outside world down to their essence and, in turn, projecting them outward through his creative acts." Additionally, continuing his activities as a graffiti artist, Basquiat often incorporated words into his paintings. Before his career as a painter began, he produced punk-inspired postcards for sale on the street, and became known for the political–poetical graffiti under the name of SAMO. On one occasion Basquiat painted his girlfriend's dress with the words "Little Shit Brown". He would often draw on random objects and surfaces, including other people's property. The conjunction of various media is an integral element of Basquiat's art. His paintings are typically covered with text and codes of all kinds: words, letters, numerals, pictograms, logos, map symbols, diagrams and more.
    In 1983, Basquiat produced a 12" rap single featuring hip-hop artists Rammellzee and K-Rob.
    More Details Hide Details Billed as Rammellzee vs. K-Rob, the single contained two versions of the same track: "Beat Bop" on side one with vocals and "Beat Bop" on side two as an instrumental. The single was pressed in limited quantities on the one-off Tartown Record Company label. The single's cover featured Basquiat's artwork, making the pressing highly desirable among both record and art collectors.
  • 1982
    Age 21
    In 1982, Basquiat worked briefly with musician and artist David Bowie.
    More Details Hide Details
    In March 1982 he worked in Modena, Italy, and from November, Basquiat worked from the ground-floor display and studio space Larry Gagosian had built below his Venice, California, home and commenced a series of paintings for a 1983 show, his second at Gagosian Gallery, then in West Hollywood.
    More Details Hide Details He brought along his girlfriend, then unknown aspiring singer Madonna. During this time he took considerable interest in the work that Robert Rauschenberg was producing at Gemini G.E.L. in West Hollywood, visiting him on several occasions and finding inspiration in the accomplishments of the painter.
  • 1981
    Age 20
    The most coveted material is rare, generally dating from the best period, 1981–83."
    More Details Hide Details In 2001 New York artist and con-artist Alfredo Martinez was charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with attempting to deceive two art dealers by selling them $185,000 worth of fake drawings put forth as being the work of Basquiat. The charges against Martinez, which landed him in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correction Center on June 19, 2002, involved an alleged scheme to sell fake Basquiat drawings, accompanied by forged certificates of authenticity. Until 2002, the highest money paid for an original work of Basquiat's was US$3,302,500, set on November 12, 1998, at Christie's. In 2002, Basquiat's Profit I (1982), a large piece measuring 86.5"/220 cm by 157.5"/400 cm, was set for auction again at Christie's by drummer Lars Ulrich of the heavy metal band Metallica. It sold for US$5,509,500. The proceedings of the auction are documented in the film Some Kind of Monster.
    In December 1981, René Ricard published "The Radiant Child" in Artforum magazine, which brought Basquiat to the attention of the art world.
    More Details Hide Details
    In September of the same year, Basquiat joined the Annina Nosei gallery and worked in a basement below the gallery toward his first one-man show, which took place in March 1981 with great success.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TEENAGE
  • 1980
    Age 19
    In June 1980, Basquiat participated in The Times Square Show, a multi-artist exhibition sponsored by Collaborative Projects Incorporated (Colab) and Fashion Moda.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1980, Basquiat starred in O'Brien's independent film Downtown 81, originally titled New York Beat.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, Basquiat met Andy Warhol at a restaurant. Basquiat presented to Warhol samples of his work, and Warhol was stunned by Basquiat's genius and allure. The two artists later collaborated. Downtown 81 featured some of Gray's recordings on its soundtrack. Basquiat also appeared in the 1981 Blondie music video "Rapture," in a role originally intended for Grandmaster Flash, as a nightclub disc jockey. The early 1980s were Basquiat's breakthrough as a solo artist.
  • 1979
    Age 18
    That same year, Basquiat formed the noise rock band Test Pattern – which was later renamed Gray – which played at Arleen Schloss's open space, "Wednesdays at A's", where in October 1979 Basquiat showed, among others, his SAMO color Xerox work.
    More Details Hide Details Gray also consisted of Shannon Dawson, Michael Holman, Nick Taylor, Wayne Clifford and Vincent Gallo, and the band performed at nightclubs such as Max's Kansas City, CBGB, Hurrah and the Mudd Club.
    In 1979, Basquiat appeared on the live public-access television cable TV show TV Party hosted by Glenn O'Brien, and the two started a friendship.
    More Details Hide Details Basquiat made regular appearances on the show over the next few years.
    When Basquiat and Diaz ended their friendship, The SAMO project ended with the epitaph "SAMO IS DEAD", inscribed on the walls of SoHo buildings in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1978
    Age 17
    In 1978, Basquiat worked for the Unique Clothing Warehouse, in their art department, at 718 Broadway in NoHo and at night he became "SAMO" painting his original graffiti art on neighborhood buildings.
    More Details Hide Details Unique's founder Harvey Russack discovered Basquiat painting a building one night, they became friends, and he offered him a day job. On December 11, 1978, The Village Voice published an article about the graffiti.
  • 1976
    Age 15
    In 1976, Basquiat and friend Al Diaz began spray painting graffiti on buildings in Lower Manhattan, working under the pseudonym SAMO.
    More Details Hide Details The designs featured inscribed messages such as "Plush safe he think.. SAMO" and "SAMO as an escape clause".
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1968
    Age 7
    In September 1968, when Basquiat was about eight, he was hit by a car while playing in the street.
    More Details Hide Details His arm was broken and he suffered several internal injuries, and he eventually underwent a splenectomy. While he was recuperating from his injuries, his mother brought him the Gray's Anatomy book to keep him occupied. This book would prove to be influential in his future artistic outlook. His parents separated that year and he and his sisters were raised by their father. The family resided in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, for five years, then moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974. After two years, they returned to New York City. When he was 13, his mother was committed to a mental institution and thereafter spent time in and out of institutions. At 15, Basquiat ran away from home. He slept on park benches in Tompkins Square Park, and was arrested and returned to the care of his father within a week.
  • 1967
    Age 6
    In 1967, Basquiat started attending Saint Ann's, an arts-oriented exclusive private school.
    More Details Hide Details He drew with Marc Prozzo, a friend from St. Ann's; they together created a children's book, written by Basquiat and illustrated by Prozzo. Basquiat became an avid reader of Spanish, French, and English texts and a more than competent athlete, competing in track events.
  • 1964
    Age 3
    He had two younger sisters: Lisane, born in 1964, and Jeanine, born in 1967.
    More Details Hide Details His father, Gérard Basquiat, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and his mother, Matilde Basquiat, who was of Puerto Rican descent, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Matilde instilled a love for art in her young son by taking him to art museums in Manhattan and enrolling him as a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Basquiat was a precocious child who learned how to read and write by age four and was a gifted artist. His teachers, such as artist Jose Machado, noticed his artistic abilities, and his mother encouraged her son's artistic talent. By the age of 11, Basquiat was fully fluent in French, Spanish and English.
  • 1960
    Born
    Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 22, 1960, shortly after the death of his elder brother, Max.
    More Details Hide Details He was the second of four children of Matilda Andrades (July 28, 1934 – November 17, 2008) and Gérard Basquiat (1930 – July 7, 2013).
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)