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Artists Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat Photo

Jean-Michel Basquiat

American Painter

Movement: Neo-Expressionism

Born: December 22, 1960 - Brooklyn, New York

Died: August 12, 1988 - New York, New York, USA

Jean-Michel Basquiat Timeline

Quotes

"I am not a black artist, I am an artist.."
Jean-Michel Basquiat
"I had some money, I made the best paintings ever. I was completely reclusive, worked a lot, took a lot of drugs. I was awful to people."
Jean-Michel Basquiat
"The black person is the protagonist in most of my paintings. I realized that I didn’t see many paintings with black people in them."
Jean-Michel Basquiat
"I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is."
Jean-Michel Basquiat
"I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life."
Jean-Michel Basquiat
"I like kids' work more than work by real artists any day."
Jean-Michel Basquiat
"The more I paint the more I like everything."
Jean-Michel Basquiat
"I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot."
Jean-Michel Basquiat

"Believe it or not, I can actually draw."

Jean-Michel Basquiat Signature

Synopsis

Jean-Michel Basquiat emerged from the "Punk" scene in New York as a gritty, street-smart graffiti artist who successfully crossed over from his "downtown" origins to the international art gallery circuit. In a few fast-paced years, Basquiat swiftly rose to become one of the most celebrated, and possibly most commercially exploited American "naif" painters of the widely celebrated Neo-Expressionism art movement.

Key Ideas

Basquiat's work is one of the few examples of how an early 1980s American Punk, or graffiti-based and counter-cultural practice could become a fully recognized, critically embraced and popularly celebrated artistic phenomenon, indeed not unlike the rise of American Hip Hop during the same era.
Despite his work's "unstudied" appearance, Basquiat very skillfully and purposefully brought together in his art a host of disparate traditions, practices, and styles to create a unique kind of visual collage, one deriving, in part, from his urban origins, and in another a more distant, African-Caribbean heritage.
For some critics, Basquiat's swift rise to fame and equally swift and tragic death by drug overdose epitomizes and personifies the overly commercial, hyped up international art scene of the mid 1980s, a cultural phenomenon that for many observers was symptomatic of the largely artificial bubble economy of the era.
Basquiat's work is an example of how American artists of the 1980s could reintroduce the human figure in their work after the wide success of Minimalism and Conceptualism, thus establishing a dialogue with the more distant tradition of 1950s Abstract Expressionism.

Biography

Jean-Michel Basquiat Photo

Childhood

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1960. His mother was of Puerto Rican heritage, and his father a Haitian immigrant, the combination of which eventually led to the young Jean-Michel's fluency in French, Spanish, and English (indeed, early readings of French symbolist poetry would come to influence Basquiat's later work). Basquiat displayed a talent for art in early childhood, learning to draw and paint with his mother's encouragement. Together they attended New York City museum exhibitions, and by the age of six, Jean-Michel found himself already enrolled as a Junior Member of the Brooklyn Museum.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Interactive chart with Jean-Michel Basquiat's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Jean DubuffetJean Dubuffet
Robert RauschenbergRobert Rauschenberg
Cy TwomblyCy Twombly

Personal Contacts

Andy WarholAndy Warhol
Keith HaringKeith Haring

Movements

Pop ArtPop Art
ExpressionismExpressionism

Influences on Artist
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Years Worked: 1977 - 1988
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Julian SchnabelJulian Schnabel
Francesco ClementeFrancesco Clemente

Personal Contacts

Andy WarholAndy Warhol
Keith HaringKeith Haring

Movements

Graffiti ArtGraffiti Art
Neo-ExpressionismNeo-Expressionism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Bonnie Rosenberg

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Bonnie Rosenberg
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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