Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a graffiti artist and a neo-expressionistic and primitivistic artist who worked in New York during the late 70’s and 80’s. His oil and acrylic canvases are mostly characterized by a lose style, a high degree of expression, freedom and the use of bold colors. Basquiat’s paintings may look chaotic, but they also show a predilection for symbolism and detail. During his career he worked with Andy Warhol as an artist, but was also a keen musician, collaborating with David Bowie. Basquiat passed away in 1988 at the age of 27.

First contact with art

Born in 1960, Basquit had been interested in art from a young age. This was mainly because of his mother, who took him to numerous art museums in Manhattan. He taught himself to read and write at an early age and turned out to have a great love for language. In 1976 he constituted the street-art collective SAMO with Al Diaz. Together they would graffiti philosophical messages and sharp-witted messages on walls and trains. After this collaboration ended in 1979, he became friends with the artist Keith Haring.

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol

In 1980 his career as an artist gained great momentum and his work was exhibited together with other young artist’s in New York. The following year he had his first solo exposition. Being a black American with a Puerto Rican and Haitian background, Basquiat spoke out against racism in his work. Het uttered criticism on the colonialism of the western world and wanted to demonstrate the differences between class. Between 1983 and 1985 he worked together with the famous pop art artist Andy Warhol. After Andy Warhol passed away in 1987, Basquiat became more and more isolated and developed a heroine addiction, which caused his death in 1988.


Art by Jean-Michel Basquiat

If you are drawn to the striking and colorful artwork of art by Jean-Michel Basquiat, we would like to invite you to take a look at our online gallery. Our website is updated regularly with new art and you will be sure to find some of his work there too. The value of his work still increases every day.