All About Basquiat

It’s February everyone! You know what that means. Yes, Valentine’s Day has come and gone– but we’d like to recognize Black History Month!
In honor of this historical month, we’d like to talk about a very important and, beyond all other things, interesting American artist. Jean-Michel Basquiat was not only known for wearing four ponytails of dreadlocks in his hair, but also for the intense, colorful neo-Expressionist paintings he created.
After a troubled childhood, Basquiat dropped out of school and left home at 15. What started as graffiti and selling T-shirts and postcards on the streets of New York City turned into a full-blown successful career for the young artist in the 1980s. Basquiat even sold a postcard to Andy Warhol in a restaurant in New York City!
Basquiat curiously got his first break in film, acting in “Downtown 81,” written by Glenn O’Brien and originally titled “New York Beat.” With the pay from the movie, he bought himself art supplies and his work began to get recognition.

After that, his paintings exploded with popularity and he rose to the top of the art world. He was soon collaborating with the famous Andy Warhol, who he became extremely close with.

Basquiat always had an obsession with fame and stardom. His inspiration spurred from many musical artists, such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. But, unfortunately, he followed their rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27, shortly after his beloved friend Warhol died in the hospital after gallbladder surgery.

Basquiat was not only famous for his extreme talent, but also for being one of the first breakout black artists. He pushed racial boundaries in the art world and is remembered for his perseverance and great work.

In 1996, Miramax Films released the independent film “Basquiat,” directed by Julian Schnabel. The film commemorates and explores Basquiat’s life and accomplishments. I highly recommend it for those interested! Watch the trailer.

For more information on Jean-Michel Basquiat, check out

Happy Black History Month!

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